How often have you picked up your prescription from the local pharmacy and noticed that the person behind the counter looked barely old enough to drive? Do you wondered if the apprehension you feel when accepting your medication from a teenager should be dismissed as ageism…or is it a legitimate concern?
Well, you’re not alone in these thoughts. Hundreds of pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, employ workers as young as seventeen to work behind the pharmacy counter. This employment decision helps supply work opportunities for teenagers while also helping pharmacies keep costs down—younger workers are often paid less than career pharmacists. However, is it wise to trust inexperienced, young adults with prescription medications?
Legitimacy of Teenage Interns, Trainees, and Pharmacy Technicians
Many high schools and vocational colleges have job training programs that work with pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS. These programs allow young students to hold part-time pharmacy positions while giving them the opportunity to shadow pharmacists and learn more about the job. Some of the “training program” highlights include:
- Learning how to maintain a professional rapport with patients.
- Learning about cashiering and customer service.
- Learning how to notify patients of prescription changes.
- Learning about different types of medications.
- Learning how to dispense medications.
- Learning about various drug interactions.
- Learning how prescription insurance works and how to bill.
- Learning how to counsel patients about their medications.
If you see a high school student working at your local pharmacy, he is most likely an intern or cashier. However, some pharmacies hire teenagers and train them to become actual pharmacy technicians. Because more and more drugstore chains are relying on pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions—again, it’s cheaper to pay technicians rather than actual pharmacists—teenagers may be the ones dispensing your medicine.
Risks of Pharmaceutical Inexperience
While pharmacies typically have double and even triple-check processes in place, pharmacists may not always catch mistakes that young pharmacy technicians have made. Sadly, these pharmacy errors can be serious when inexperience and immaturity cause:
- The incorrect medication to be dispensed.
- Incorrect dosages to be calculated.
- Incorrect medical equipment to be distributed.
- Incorrect medical advice to be given.
Any of these can cause the customer to experience dangerous—sometimes life-threatening—consequences.
We Can Help You Find the Best Available Recovery After a Prescription Error
If you have suffered the results of a medication mistake, call our pharmacy error law firm at 888-526-7616. We’ll provide you with a highly experienced and complimentary consultation, where we’ll discuss your case and your claim options. Don’t let a prescription mistake affect your future.
Let us use our extensive skills to help you get the compensation you need for your recovery. Call now!