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Pharmacy Errors Under Scrutiny

An article yesterday in the Legal Intelligencer newspaper says that pharmacy errors are on the rise and patient safety is at risk. The sheer increase in the number of people taking prescription drugs alongside the rapid development of pharmacies in every community may in part be a factor, but attorney Brandon Swartz says the volume of prescriptions filled by pharmacy technicians may play a role in the errors.

ABC News conducted an undercover investigation and reported the findings in this report, “Medication Mixups”:

Swartz says injury can result from one of three types of errors:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Dispensing the wrong dosage and
  • Mislabeling the prescription bottle

Errors in any of these three cases could cause physical harm or death. Last year, a mother successfully sued a Texas pharmacy after her six year old daughter was treated for sickle cell anemia and died after taking morphine dispensed at ten times the prescribed dosage.

How can you avoid being harmed by medication errors?

An ABC News segment says the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research offers a few tips that consumers can use to lower the chance of  pharmacy errors:

  • When your doctor writes a prescription for you, make sure you can read it.
  • When you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask the  pharmacist if this is the medicine that your doctor prescribed.
  • Open the bag containing your medication container, and make sure the medicine matches your prescription and your name is on the container.
  • Make sure you understand how to properly take the medication. Ask your pharmacist about how much medication to take, and when and whether you should expect to experience any side effects.

Harman Law attorneys will continue to monitor the incidence of pharmacy errors, adding blog posts as news develops.

Text HARMANNEWS to 22828 to sign up for our quarterly newsletter with updates on consumer and patient safety.

Harman Law LLC represents clients across the country who have been injured by dangerous and defective drugs and medical devices.

Posted on behalf of Harman Law Firm

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