It’s astonishing just how many pharmacy mistakes take place in this nation annually. According to a study by Pharmacy Times, about 51 million errors occur at pharmacies a year. Just in North Carolina alone, the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy verified that approximately 350 prescription mistakes occurred over the past five years, including:
- 46 mistakes in 2013
- 70 mistakes in 2012
- 68 mistakes in 2011
- 75 mistakes in 2010
- 87 mistakes in 2009
The number of errors is expected to be higher because not everyone reports prescription mistakes to the Board of Pharmacy. Jay Campbell, executive director of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, said, “I would encourage folks who have a dispensing problem to contact the board as well as the pharmacy, not out of a punitive standpoint… but it’s helpful for the board to know if this is an isolated incident with respect to the pharmacy or pharmacists, or (if) this the latest incident in a pattern of incidents.”
Some pharmacy errors that occurred last year involved Faulkner’s Drugs in Monroe in Union County. One incident sent an elderly patient to the hospital after receiving a prescription for morphine that was four times stronger than what was prescribed. As a result, the board disciplined the pharmacists involved by suspending them and reprimanding the pharmacy.
Another example of a pharmacy mishap involved a CVS Pharmacy at 3581 Davis Drive in Cary. A woman went to pick up Phenobarbital for her dog’s seizures, but when she opened the bottle she found two different sized pills. Some of the pills were the correct dosage, but the majority of the pills had a higher dosage. According to the lady, she called the pharmacy to report the error and the pharmacist stated she was in a rush and was sorry.