In medical care, patients expect that those who give them medical advice, administer treatment, and write prescriptions know what they are talking about and are careful to avoid errors. The same is true for pharmacists–we trust that our pharmacists are doing their job correctly and watching out for potential errors. That is why it can be surprising for patients when careless mistakes do occur.
Here in Michigan, a family from Fremont is reportedly accusing Walgreens of filling a prescription incorrectly, which apparently led to a boy taking the wrong medicine for a month before the mistake was recognized. The bag that held the medicine bottle reportedly had the right name, address and medication label on it when it was picked up, but the family noticed the bottle itself was addressed to another person when they went to fill the prescription a month later. As it turns out, he had been taking a generic asthma medication rather than his ADHD medication.
Fortunately, the boy had no adverse reactions because of the mix-up, other than a decline in his own condition due to not taking his normal medication. Unfortunately, Walgreens did not respond well when informed about the situation. No apology was given, the couple was asked to pay for the medicine, and then asked to leave when they demanded the store pay for it.
Medication errorscan and do happen, and when they do, the consequences aren’t always this fortunate. In cases where powerful medication is given to the wrong individual, serious harm or even death could potentially result. When this happens, somebody needs to be held accountable.
Pharmacists who make mistakes in filing prescriptions can be held accountable for their errors. Those who have suffered serious harm because of a careless pharmacist should contact an experienced attorney to have their case evaluated.
Source: woodtv.com, “Walgreens gives teen wrong medication,” Dani Carlson, October 18, 2014.