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Prescription mistakes do not require reporting

Prescription mistakes are occurring at an alarming rate in Ohio and elsewhere in the nation. Unfortunately, such medication errors can often be deadly.

For example, a 10-year old boy had been prescribed Intuniv for ADD. What the pharmacy had provided instead was a medication used to treat schizophrenia. If his mother had not noticed that the pill was a different color and called about her concerns, the boy would probably have taken the medication and died.

What is disturbing about such circumstances is that probably no one is surprised. Pharmacists are in such short supply and do so much business every day that it's surprising such mix-ups concerning prescriptions to not occur with even more frequency.

The most common mistake made by pharmacies is the providing of the wrong dosage or the wrong drug. The reason why we do not have more exact figures on how often such mistakes are made is because pharmacists have no duty to report such errors.

Critics have credited the lack of reporting standards to the fact that the pharmaceutical business brings in billions of dollars every year. These same critics have also blamed the industry for placing quotas on pharmacy staffs to fill a certain amount of prescriptions during a certain time period. Thus many more errors occur because pharmacists are frequently in a hurry.

If the industry continues to place profit above patient safety, the industry should be held responsible for errors that are made as well. Attorneys understand that mix-ups and miscommunications between doctors and pharmacists are frequently the cause of such medication errors taking place and those types of mistakes cannot be tolerated.

Source: WPTV.com, "Prescription mistakes are rampant and under-reported," by Katie LaGrone, April 30, 2012

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