Pharmacists have an essential role in patients’ well-being: filling physicians’ prescriptions and keeping track of all the medications each patient takes to assure there are no contra-indications in mixing different drugs prescribed by different doctors.
any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that 82% of Americans take at least one prescription medication and 29% take five or more. With so many people using these medications, especially those combining several at one time, there is a high risk of danger when these drugs are not given in the correct dosage, without proper instruction or are not the prescribed drug at all. The FDA reports that 1.3 million people are injured every year from these medication errors.Pharmacists role to protect the public from harmful or fatal medications errors and misfills
Even relatively minor deviations from the scripted medication can result in patient injury or death. The pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represents individuals who have been harmed or killed due to pharmacy error.
Common pharmacy errors include:
- Failing to advise or warn of potentially dangerous drug side-effects
- Dispensing the wrong medications
- Incorrectly labeling medication
- Providing incorrect medication dosage
- Filling multiple medications with known adverse reactions
- Failing to provide adequate instructions regarding use of a drug
In a study done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, 140,755 prescription doses were monitored for errors. 5,075 contained errors and only 79% of these errors were caught through verification. Of the errors that were not caught, 23.5% had potential to create adverse drug reactions, 28% that were serious. In 2011, there were an estimated 4 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. When this study is applied to the large number of prescriptions being filled every day, the number of drugs leaving pharmacies with errors could be staggering.