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Beware: Walgreens Pharmacists May Fill Ear Drops Instead of Eye Drops

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing personal injury, pharmacy error, and overtime law
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There are many different eye conditions that require prescription eye drops. While some people need allergy relief, others may need treatment for pink eye, or conjunctivitis. Typically, people who have red, swollen, itchy eyes will visit the doctor for relief and will usually leave the doctor’s office with a prescription for some type of eye drop. While it seems like a fairly simple process, it is amazing how many pharmacists fill patient prescriptions with ear drops instead of eye drops.

How Does This Mistake Happen?

Pharmacists at Walgreens and at other pharmacies are often busy and sometimes don’t take the time to carefully read prescriptions. They may mistake the word “ear” for the word “eye.” Because both words start with the letter “e” and have three letters in the entire word, it is easy to see how pharmacists fill the wrong prescriptions. Although filling ear drops instead of eye drops may have been an accident, it can cause patients burning, pain, and blurred vision. Additionally, it can lead to an emergency room visit and needless medical bills.

Even if patients read the instruction label before putting the drops in their eyes, they may overlook the word “ear” because their brains assume the word is “eye”. Additionally, it may be difficult for patients to see that a pharmacy mistake was made because both medications are liquid and come in a dropper bottle or require a dropper for application.

What Happens When This Type of Pharmacy Error Is Made?

Although inserting ear drops in the eye doesn’t generally result in permanent damage, it can cause temporary injuries and be concerning to patients. Patients who receive the wrong drops and who have incurred medical bills as a result should have their bills paid for by the negligent pharmacy.

For help getting compensated by Walgreens for your medical bills, request our free report How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.

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