Do you check your medication information each time you pick up a prescription from your local pharmacy in Cleveland? Whether you pick up your prescriptions at Walgreens, CVS, or another pharmacy in the Cleveland area, you may be at greater risk of suffering injuries as a pharmacy error than you think. A recent article in The New York Times discussed the ways in which pharmacists, especially at large chains, are overworked with insufficient staff. As a result, pharmacists are responsible for a shockingly high number of medication errors. You should know that if you or someone you love suffered a serious injury because of a medication mistake, I’ll Make Them Pay!®
New Report Describes “Chaos” at U.S. Pharmacies
Chain pharmacies, as well as local pharmacies, have become places in which medication mistakes are almost common, according to The New York Times report. As that report explains, “Many pharmacists at companies like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens described understaffed and chaotic workplaces where they said it had become difficult to perform their jobs safely, putting the public at risk of medication errors.” Indeed, the article reports, pharmacists have difficulty fulfilling all of the duties of their jobs given staffing issues, and as a result do not spend the time that they would like to spend—or that is necessary—with prescriptions or patient files. Pharmacists surveyed for the study described the current working conditions as “unreasonable and unsafe in an industry squeezed to do more with less.”
It is essential to underscore that, not only are patients reporting injuries as a result of medication mistakes, but pharmacists themselves are also highlighting the errors that have become common to their jobs. One pharmacist, anonymously, said, “I am a danger to the public working for CVS.” Another explained, “the amount of busywork we must do while verifying prescriptions is absolutely dangerous.” That pharmacist emphasized that, in the current working conditions, “mistakes are going to be made and the patients are going to be the ones suffering.”
Pharmacists in states across the U.S. continue to report their concerns to state boards and to advocate for better working conditions in which they have time to properly attend to patient safety. However, there are no indications that the conditions that often result in pharmacy errors will get any better—at least not anytime soon. As the article suggests, regulation of pharmacy chains “has proved difficult for state pharmacy boards.”
What Can Patients do to Avoid a Medication Error?
Patients should not have to worry about injury risks when they are picking up a prescription at the pharmacy, yet the new report suggests that patients may need to take steps to keep themselves safe. If you are picking up a prescription at your pharmacy in Cleveland, you should consider the following steps to avoid a medication error and needing to file a pharmacist malpractice claim:
- Talk to your pharmacist when you pick up the prescription about the medication, any possible side effects, and any other issues you should consider when taking the drug;
- Open up the bag that contains your prescription drug, and check to make sure that its label is for the drug you are taking and in the proper amount;
- When you get home, look closely at the pills and make sure they are the pills that your prescription indicates (many labels indicate what the pill looks like);
- Read all instructions for taking the medication and follow them; and
- Report any kind of medication error to the pharmacy as soon as possible, and do not take a drug that you were not prescribed.
Learn More About Filing a Claim for Compensation
Do you need help filing a claim after suffering a medication error injury? I can help with your medical malpractice claim. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 to learn more about how I can help.