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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

What Does the Series of Numbers and Letters on a Pill Mean to a Pharmacy Patient?

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

Each and every pill that doctors prescribe and pharmacists fill have a series of numbers and letters, called the pill identifier. The reason? The United States Food and Drug Administration requires that every drug manufacture uses a unique imprint for their different products.

The Purpose of the Pill Identifier

The imprinted code on a pill is more than just a series of numbers and letters. Whether it is engraved, embossed, stamped, or printed, pills sold in this nation are required to have an imprinted code to identify them. Not only is the imprinted code unique to each pill, but the code identifies the strength of the pill as well as the active ingredients. By having a series of numbers and letters on the pill, it helps pharmacists and patients alike to differentiate pills and their dosages from others.

The imprinted code on a pill typically doesn’t mean much to a pharmacy customer—but it should. Patients may get their medications mixed up after dropping their pill case or finding a pill on the floor. As a result, patients can use the pill’s imprint to identify the pill.

Importance of the Pill Identifier

When patients pick up their medications at the pharmacy, they typically have to trust that the pharmacist got their prescriptions right. But because pharmacy technicians and pharmacists fill so many prescriptions every day, they often make medication errors that can harm patients. Although a pill bottle might have the right label and information on it, it is always a good idea to check the pill identifier in conjunction with the pill’s shape and color to help determine if your are taking the correct pill and dosage.

While the pharmacist should double check each prescription before it leaves the pharmacy, sometimes pharmacists overlook mistakes that pharmacy technicians have made. For example, a pharmacy technician may have printed out the correct dug label, filled the right medication, but grabbed the wrong strength of drug—possibly filling 50mg instead of 5mg. When this happens, a customer may not even know that he or she has received the wrong dosage of drugs.

Importance of Checking the Pill Identifier

Because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can make mistakes, it is important that every customer check his or her own pills. This is why there is a unique imprint on the drug, and it is fairly easy to check. By visiting www.drugs.com/imprints, you can check the pill identifier to confirm what strength it is and whether or not it is the correct pill your doctor prescribed.

We hope you have found this article helpful and that you will share this information with others on your favorite social media site, in hopes of saving someone from taking the wrong dosage of medication.