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Many Factors Can Cause Dangerous Pharmacy Misfills

Posted on - Monday, January 25, 2016 under Dangerous Drugs & Products, Medical Malpractice

Pharmacists are highly trained professionals. Dealing as they do with powerful medications and vulnerable patients, they are required to take great care in filling and dispensing prescriptions. But all that training, education, and care can be tragically overshadowed by pressures and circumstances that can lead to dangerous prescription misfills.

According to one estimate, 1.5 million people were harmed by medication errors in 2011 alone, with 100,000 people dying as a result.
Pharmacists can make a number of critical mistakes between the time they receive a prescription from a doctor or patient and the time they give the medication to the patient, including:

• providing the wrong medication; this can happen due to an illegible or misread prescription, or filling a prescription with a similarly-named but dramatically different drug
• providing the wrong dosage
• failing to provide instructions or providing the wrong instructions
• giving a patient someone else’s prescription, often because of patients with similar names

A comprehensive study by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy analyzed the causes of medication errors. Based on responses provided by hundreds of pharmacists, the study found that a wide array of circumstances and distractions increased the likelihood of misfills and other prescription mistakes.

The 10 most common factors cited by pharmacists as contributing to prescription errors were:

•Too many telephone calls
• No time to counsel patients
• Overload/unusually busy day
• Too many customers
• Lack of concentration
• No one available to double-check
• Staff shortage
• Similar drug names
• Illegible prescription
• Misinterpreted prescription

Additionally, one of the biggest drivers of pharmacy errors is the pressure to fill prescriptions as quickly as possible. This pressure on pharmacists comes from above and below – customers who expect fast service and the employers who make more money the more prescriptions are filled.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively, including individuals and families who have suffered because a pharmacy has misfiled a prescription. If you have questions or concerns regarding misfiled prescriptions or other pharmaceutical errors, please contact us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.