Pharmacists attend college and then years of graduate school in order to safely dispense and in some cases even manufacture certain medications. You trust that they will mix medications properly, dispense the right dose and even catch possible interactions with other drugs when you fill a new prescription.
Unfortunately, people picking up prescriptions might become the victim of a medication or pharmacy error. What causes prescription or pharmaceutical mistakes? Is it possible for you to prevent them?
Pharmacy workers are under intense pressure
Even during lower-demand times, pharmacists often work very long shifts and must turn out dozens of prescriptions on any given day. Fatigue and professional burnout are among the biggest risk factors for a pharmaceutical mistake.
Someone who has been at work for more than half a day might misread a label, miscount pills or even give someone the right medication in a dangerously inaccurate dosage. Distraction on the job is also a potential contributing factor. Pharmacy workers trying to talk to one another, attempting to multitask or focusing on their phones can make the same mistakes that someone would make when exhausted.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to predict whether a particular pharmacy worker is tired or distracted, especially because the person with whom you interact may not be the same person who actually fills the prescription. All you can do is try to verify that the medication you receive is the right drug and dose. If a pharmacist makes a mistake that hurts you or someone you love, you may be able to bring a claim against them and/or their employer.