We put a lot of faith in our doctors to take care of us, and we trust our pharmacists. Even with years of experience, pharmacists are only human and are still capable of mistakes. These mistakes result in millions of Americans suffering the consequences of pharmacy mistakes.
Knowing the causes of these mistakes can help doctors avoid these mistakes and help patients look out for these errors. Here are three common ways that a pharmacist may make a mistake with your prescription:
The education surrounding pharmacy work is vital to keeping from harming patients. If a pharmacist does not receive (or apply) the education they need to do their job properly, it can come at the expense of the patients. This includes knowing possible drug interactions.
Overworked pharmacy staff
If a single person is responsible for too many prescriptions, they may mix up orders and give patients the wrong medication. While this may not seem serious, the results can be disastrous or even fatal. When a pharmacy does not have enough staff to cover high workloads, the patients can be the ones to suffer the consequences.
Lack of communication with patients
It is easy for doctors and patients to take a prescription for granted, especially when it’s just a refill. Just as pharmacists can assume they have all the information they need to fill or refill a prescription, patients assume pharmacists are infallible and are filling the prescription correctly.
How you can protect yourself
To avoid the consequences of a prescription error, a bit of patience and questioning can go a long way. When receiving the prescription or medication, here are two things to check while you are still at the pharmacy:
- Is the prescription yours? Check name and address to make sure you were given the correct prescription.
- Are the pills what you expected? Open the bottle and look at the pills. Do they match what you usually get? There should also be an image of the pill size and description along with the prescription documents. Is this the correct pill?
Asking question and advocating for yourself could save you from harm. But the pharmacist is responsible for doing their job properly. If you have been injured from a pharmacy error, call an experienced attorney for guidance.