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Busy Pharmacy and Over-Worked Pharmacist is Prescription for Error

David Mittleman

Pharmacy error in both the local neighborhood stores and hospital setting is on the rise. The consequences of Pharmacy errors can range from harmless to fatal. More than 100,000 Americans die each year of adverse drug reactions, according to an article in the Journal of The American Medical Association. No one knows for sure how many of those deaths are the direct result of pharmacy/pharmacist’s negligence, but we do know that the leading cause for prescription mistake is overworked pharmacists.

Many pharmacies fill over 300 prescriptions a day and some pharmacists are being asked to fill 30 prescriptions an hour and work 12 hour shifts, sometimes back to back. This means that within two minutes the pharmacist must: fill the prescription, check for drug interactions, check for contraindications for use and counsel the patient. It’s no wonder mistakes are being made.

Tips to help you avoid being a victim of pharmacy/pharmacist’s negligence:

  • Don’t be in a hurry
  • Open your prescription in the pharmacy
  • Ask questions
  • Don’t assume everything is alright
  • Be your own advocate or have someone you trust assist you
  • Slow down, compare and
  • Search the internet

By law pharmacists are required to provide counseling on all prescriptions dispensed by them.

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