The FDA has recommended that pharmacies and hospitals implement a plan to prevent sound-alike drug mistakes. Suggested protocol includes:
- Listing both brand names and generic names on all labels and medication records.
- Storing products that look alike or have similar names in different locations.
- Ensuring a second person (nurse or tech) double-checks all prescriptions before distribution.
- Using “name alert” labels to medications that have been known to cause look-alike or sound-alike errors.
- Drawing attention to the differences in names of confused medications by changing the appearance of names on pharmacy labels, shelf labels and bins, computer screens and medication records by highlighting, using bold text, color, or all-caps.
- Instructing physicians to include both the brand and generic names on all prescriptions.
- Alerting consumers to the possibility of drug name mix-ups.
- Encouraging patients and staff to question their pharmacists about any medications that are different than expected.
These procedures have been most effective when pharmacies post a list of these procedures in clear view and include them in training materials. Pharmacists must also be aware of new drugs on the market that could be confused with current medications, providing timely updates for patients and staff.
If you or someone you love received the wrong medication from a pharmacy, you may be able to hold the pharmacy liable for your medical costs. Get your legal questions answered in your FREE consultation with a prescription drug error lawyerby calling Kennedy Hodges today at (888) 526-7616.
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