Pharmacy errors

Common Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacy errorsPharmacy errors occur when the wrong medication is given to a patient at the pharmacy. These mistakes are more common when there is more pressure on pharmacy personnel such as long lines at the counter or lack of staff on duty.

Pharmacy errors can lead to serious harm when pharmacists fail to ask each patient the right questions. To protect yourself from the serious consequences of pharmacy errors, it is important to know how to detect them. Here are some of the most common types of pharmacy errors:

Wrong Medication or Dosage

The patient is given the wrong medication or dosage by the pharmacist. These pharmacy errors are caused by incorrect labels, unclear writing or the misuse of medical terms. Dosage errors can also happen when pharmacists convert units, drop zeros and move decimals, all leading to wrong numbers. Even with the right medication, the wrong dosage can be harmful.

Patient and Medicine Name Mix-ups

Two patients with the same name end up with the other’s medication and the right medication ends up in the wrong hands. Another pharmacy error happens when two medications look the same or have similar-sounding names. These mistakes are caused by a failure to double-check in order to save time.

Lack of Verification with Physician or Patient

If a pharmacist fails to verify the medicine name or dosage with the physician, this could be considered negligence. Communication is just as important between patient and pharmacist. The pharmacist is also required to counsel the patient about each medicine. Lack of communication puts the patient at risk, especially when the patient is left unaware of harmful side-effects.

Drug Reactions and Allergies

The pharmacist may fail to detect harmful interactions between new and old drugs, causing serious injury in the process. Some medications react with certain foods and drinks. Although the physician should have already taken note of this, the pharmacist should also be aware of the patient’s medication and supplements they are currently taking. Pharmacists must also ask patients about their drug allergies.

Related areas of practice:

Medical Malpractice
Dangerous Drugs