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Speed May Sacrifice Accuracy and Lead to Pharmacy Malpractice

David W. Hodges
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Did you know that about 82 percent of Americans take prescription medications? Not only is this the case, but an estimated 30 percent of Americans take more than five prescriptions, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These numbers indicate that millions of Americans are getting prescriptions filled by pharmacies every year. So, it’s no wonder why pharmacies are constantly busy.

Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that every year 1.3 million Americans suffer injuries due to medication and prescription errors. While not every prescription-related injury occurs due to the busy nature of pharmacies, many patients do suffer because pharmacists are busy and are in a rush. Sometimes, pharmacies overpromise or make time guarantees to patients that are unrealistic. When they do this, they put pharmacists under the gun and pressure them to deliver a patient’s prescription within 15 minutes, which sometimes leads to pharmacy error.

What this tells us is that speed in filling and dispensing medication can actually sacrifice a prescription’s accuracy.

Because pharmacies are often busy and prioritize filling prescriptions quickly, they sometimes can make medication mistakes, putting a patient’s safety in jeopardy. This is why unrushed pharmacists are able to be more accurate in safely dispensing prescriptions for patients. When pharmacists are allowed to take the appropriate amount of time to review each prescription and counsel each patient, mistakes can be caught. Unfortunately, when a pharmacy prides themselves on speed, errors seem to occur.

Speed can often lead to pharmacy mistakes which include:

  • Patient is given the wrong dose of medication
  • Patient receives another person’s prescription
  • Patient is given a sound-alike drug (a drug with a name similar to the prescribed medication)
  • Patient receives the wrong medication because the pharmacist misread the doctor’s handwriting or didn’t read carefully
  • Patient does not receive directions or receives the wrong directions with the correct drug
  • Patient is given medication that is incorrectly compounded by pharmacies

In any of these cases, a patient can suffer from an overdose, allergic reaction, serious injury, or even death. If you or a loved one suffered at the hands of a negligent pharmacist, please call a pharmacy malpractice attorney at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. today at 888-526-7616 to find out if you have a legal case and to learn more about your rights to seek compensation for the pain you suffered. Call today for a complimentary consultation and also ask for a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.