According to an I-Team 8 report, an Indianapolis pharmacy made a medication mistake that resulted in a patient receiving ear drops for an eye infection. Bethany Hair, a 23-year-old Indianapolis resident, went to her doctor with an eye irritation, and the doctor diagnosed her with a viral infection in her right eye.
Upon leaving her doctor’s office, she received a prescription from the doctor for eye drops. According to Bethany Hair, she went to Walgreens to fill the prescription but learned it was $200. Because of the hefty price for this medication, the pharmacist apparently called her doctor to find another cheaper prescription that would work.
Bethany Hair told I-Team 8 that the pharmacist came back saying the doctor approved a different prescription. She received the cheaper prescription and put the drops in her eye. “It hurt to blink, it hurt to wash my hair, it hurt to cry,” said Hair about the pain in her eye. She said her eye infection and pain got worse by the next day. She then went to the ER two days later and was diagnosed with “chemical exposure to the eye.”
Apparently, the label instructions on the box that the pharmacy typed up said “one drop in the right eye every two hours,” but the manufacturer’s information on the box stated for “the ear only.” As a result of this pharmacy error, the customer received ear drops instead of eye drops.
I-Team 8 tried to investigate whether the mistake was the result of the pharmacy or the doctor. The doctor declined to comment, and I-Team 8 couldn’t see the hard copy written prescription due to health privacy regulations.
While there is no telling how many pharmacy errors at Walgreens occur yearly, the Pharmacy Association estimates there are over 51 million dispensing errors that take place annually, across all pharmacies nationwide.