In 2008, Oregon introduced a completely voluntary pharmacy error reporting system, not only for pharmacies, but for healthcare facilities and doctors. Each group among the medical chain of care participated in the program, thereby improving safety and care in their respective areas.
Pharmacists refused to participate. While the system seems to have been a great success for the rest of the healthcare chain in Oregon, it was a dismal failure in the area of pharmacy.
Retail Pharmacies Say their Safety Checks are “More than Adequate”
Spokespersons from several chain pharmacies, such as BiMart and Rite-Aid say their safety checks are more than adequate, when properly followed by pharmacy staff. Really? Then why did these things happen just last year:
- A pharmacy customer was pulled over by police for erratic driving after having been given a sedative instead of the prescription his doctor ordered.
- A customer took the wrong pill for a whole week, believing that the pharmacy had given him his blood pressure medication.
Why are Pharmacists Refusing the Reporting System?
One reason is fear. Pharmacists fear being fined for their mistakes, or even losing their license to practice, even though the system is anonymous. Another reason is arrogance. Some pharmacists think that their own safety checks and balances are good enough and that an overall 3 percent error rate is acceptable. We’d be willing to bet that error rate wouldn’t be so acceptable if it were their loved one poisoned or injured by taking the wrong drug.
What can you do to protect your family from pharmacy errors?
Medication errors, improper dosage, and other prescription errors are all too common in pharmacies. Order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay For Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn how you can take action. You can also contact our prescription error lawyers to start investigation of your case immediately. There is no cost and no obligation. Call us toll-free at 1-888-526-7616, or send us a confidential contact form.