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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

How the Differences Between Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacists Can Affect Your Health

Gabriel Assaad
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Partner and attorney at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing personal injury, medical malpractice & product liability

Is your pharmacy technician really competent to handle your medications?When you go to your local pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions, do you assume that the person behind the counter is a certified pharmacist? That assumption may be wrong. Many pharmacies employ more pharmacy technicians than actual certified pharmacists.

The Meaning of “Technician”

The primary role of a pharmacy technician is supposed to be to provide an extra layer of safety for patients. Ideally, the pharmacy technician should help in pharmacy error prevention by following processes and informing the pharmacist if there are discrepancies or potential errors.

The problem with modern pharmacy practice is that business owners don’t want to spend profits on extra labor. Pharmacies tend to rely heavily on lower-paid pharmacy techs to fulfill pharmacist duties. Rather than spending the money to use techs as a secondary security system, they use techs as a replacement for certified pharmacists. As a result, technicians often play a role in every aspect of a prescription order, including filling prescriptions without supervision or verification.

Without someone to double-check fulfillment, pharmacy errors can occur. While most pharmacy techs are smart and precise, it’s important to remember that even the best technicians are still human and fallible. Since they have a hand in every part of the pharmacy process, they’re bound to make medication mistakes from time to time.

Let’s look at where mistakes can happen in the chain of work:

  • Prescription drop-off. A pharmacy technician should verify if a patient has allergies or a medical condition. If a tech forgets to check with a customer and fails to update the patient’s information, the pharmacist will have no way of knowing if he’s giving the patient dangerous medicine.
  • Prescription order entry. When a tech is entering prescriptions into the computer, he may not be aware of a new drug. He might select a drug that sounds similar to the correct one by accident. Also, techs have the ability to override drug alerts in the computer and not tell the pharmacist.
  • Prescription fulfillment. Technicians may be assigned to fill medication containers. However, because they don’t have the same training as pharmacists, they may pick the wrong medication or get confused with look-alike or sound-alike drugs.
  • Prescription pick-up. A technician is the one who customers generally see when picking up their prescriptions. If the tech doesn’t ask for a patient’s date of birth and address, the tech may hand the patient someone else’s prescription by mistake.

Protecting Yourself Through Double-Checking

As a customer, you can’t dictate pharmacy staffing policies. Nor can you change the prescription filling process. But you can add a secondary security layer yourself. Check your medications closely. Before accepting your prescriptions from the pharmacy, double-check to ensure:

  • Accurate labels. Double-check that the patient name, the drug name, the generic name (if applicable), and the count are all accurate.
  • Accurate drug. Double-check that the description of the drug matches the appearance of the drug in the bottle.
  • Accurate information. If the technician gives you any further instructions that are not indicated on the label, double-check the information with your doctor.

Because they’re looking at their bottom line, many retail pharmacies are willing to sacrifice patient safety in hopes of saving money. Any person who has suffered harm at the hand of a pharmacy shouldn’t allow the technician, pharmacist, or pharmacy to get away with their negligence.

To determine whether you have a valid claim—and who might be the target of that claim—speak with a pharmacy malpractice lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Call our office today in order to collect the most compensation possible in your case. We also encourage you to order a FREE copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.