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An overview of potential pharmacy errors

When you go into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription order, you expect the proper medication from the pharmacist and that your doctor prescribes the proper treatment. This does not always happen.

Hundreds of times each day, individuals suffer from medication errors.

A common problem

A report on the National Library of Health website states that about 6,800 different types of prescription medications exist. This high number, as well as the volume of prescriptions filled each day, makes it inevitable that mistakes occur. Each year in the U.S. between 7,000 to 9,000 people die from medication errors. Many others experience adverse reactions or complications from pharmacy errors or doctor errors.

Cost estimates from medication dispensing errors could reach as high as $40 billion annually. In addition, thousands of patients suffer from physical and psychological pain as a result.

A list of errors

When you go to pick up your medication at a pharmacy, several things could go wrong. A small category of this involves unpreventable errors that deal with the sometimes unpredictable nature of medications.

However, many medication problems occur through human error. One instance involves something going awry in order communication, such as the misreading of a doctor’s handwritten message or the mislabeling of a bottle of medicine. Sometimes it merely involves the failure of a practitioner to communicate with the pharmacy.

A dosing error could deliver a harmful amount of a drug to the patient. This could result in an overdose. Similarly, a too-small amount of the drug could lead to poor outcomes for the patient. Any medication error could cause negative reactions and should receive the scrutiny it deserves.