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Repetition May Lead to Pharmacy Errors at Your Local CVS Pharmacy

David W. Hodges
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Some people go to work every day knowing that their job will challenge them with new tasks or assignments; however, others show up at work knowing that their day will be very similar to the one they had yesterday and will have tomorrow. When an employee arrives at work and is met with the latter, he or she may suffer from repetition and boredom on the job. Pharmacists often fall into this category, as they suffer from unbearable repetition.

When pharmacists at a CVS pharmacy or another pharmacy do the same tasks every day, they may have lapsed judgment, overlook mistakes made by technicians, and even make errors themselves. Ultimately, repetition equals boredom, and pharmacists who do the same thing every day—dispensing medicine—may be a danger to patients’ safety.

Repetition Spells Danger

When pharmacists find themselves reaching for drugs and reviewing labels in a repetitious manner, they have a higher chance of making medication errors. This may be because they are zoned out or are bored on the job. Another reason that pharmacists experience repetition and boredom is that they are often overworked. When this happens, it is likely that two critical pharmacy errors could occur, including:

  1. Incorrect prescription is filled. If a pharmacist is going about his day—repeating it like it was yesterday or the day before—he may fill the wrong prescription due to confusion between similar drug names or drugs that have a similar-looking pill or packaging. Medication errors and wrong prescriptions are given out far too often due to small mistakes like misplacing decimal points or reading the doctor’s handwriting incorrectly. However, if pharmacists were more alert and took reasonable care with every order, they would fill prescriptions correctly and accurately every time. Unfortunately, repetition and boredom get in their way.
  2. Incorrect labeling occurs. If a pharmacy technician doesn’t correctly label the prescription bottle or packet, and a pharmacist doesn’t catch it, a patient may take too many drugs or not have the correct warnings while taking the drug. Pharmacists must ensure that each medication has the correct label when it leaves the pharmacy to avoid overdoses or patient confusion. When pharmacists are zoned out and bored from job repetition, they may overlook labeling mistakes and send a patient home with the wrong information.

If you or a loved one was a victim of a pharmacy error at CVS or any other pharmacy, please call our skilled pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation. You also can request a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.