Pharmacists are well-educated, well-trained, hardworking and devoted to providing the best customer service possible. However, sometimes there are lapses in safety procedures and as a result, pharmacy medication errors occur. This is often due to understaffed and chaotic workplace environments rather than from lazy or deliberately negligent behavior.
Unfortunately, pharmaceutical errors can have grave or even fatal consequences. The New York Times recently reported that “high levels of stress and ‘unreasonable’ expectations” led to pharmacists at the national chain Walgreens making mistakes or ignoring safety measures on multiple occasions. These employees blamed it on the workplace environment of having too-high expectations for meeting corporate metrics while also performing multiple simultaneous tasks such as servicing the drive-through, taking phone calls, giving customers flu shots and attending to regular walk-in business. As a result of this pressure and chaos, pharmacy medication errors occurred at Walgreens as well as at other national chain pharmacies. They included incorrect dosage instructions, insufficient dosages of seizure medications, dispensing incomplete instructions and the giving of incorrect medications. Pharmacists voiced their concerns about these errors to consultants analyzing their workplace. However, the consultants thereafter often omitted these errors when compiling their findings into summary reports.
Proper precautions and specific safety procedures are vital to minimizing the quantity and severity of errors that may ensue when dispensing medication. A pharmacy afraid that prescription errors may have been made might want to talk to an attorney. Having a consultation with an attorney well-versed in pharmacy errors medication defense may be a good way to review the situation and understand what the best course of action would be.