Have you ever received your medicine from a pharmacy, but it didn’t have the number of prescribed pills or doses? This is what happened recently to Naomi Robbins, a Forbes contributor.
We all have been told to take every dose of antibiotics, even if we start feeling well, because the bacteria could return if we stop taking the medicine too soon. This is what Naomi also was told by her doctor recently. The doctor prescribed clarithromycin and reminded her to take every pill in the bottle. The prescription called for 2 pills to be taken each day for ten days, for a total of 20 pills.
After Naomi picked up her prescription from the pharmacy, she thought to herself that it didn’t seem like 20 pills could fit in such a small pill bottle. So she turned over the bottle and dumped the pills out only to count 14 pills instead of 20. Although she suspects that this was an honest pharmacy mistake, she previously had a situation occur when a pharmacist knew he had shorted her pills.
Years earlier, Naomi counted her child’s antibiotic pills and noticed that there were fewer pills in the bottle than what the doctor prescribed and what was on the label of the pill bottle. She then called the pharmacy and informed the pharmacist of her discovery; however, the pharmacist proceeded to tell her that he knew he had shorted her pills and he had given her what he had had in stock. Unfortunately, he never informed her of this at the time she picked up the prescription. If she didn’t catch this, the illness may have reoccurred due to too few pills.
While the wrong number of pills in this case wasn’t life threatening, an incorrect dosage of pills or the wrong pills could be fatal in another situation.
As pharmacy error lawyers, we want to echo Naomi’s warning and remind the public to always count pills after getting a prescription filled because pharmacists can make both intentional and unintentional mistakes.