Florida Pharmacy Errors on the Rise, According to Survey

Florida Pharmacy Errors on the Rise, According to Survey

Florida Pharmacy Errors on the Rise, According to Survey


Pharmacists play a critical role in our healthcare system. Patients rely on them to provide the correct medication at the correct dosage, along with the proper instructions, to avoid severe negative repercussions.


The importance of safety in the pharmacy makes it all the more disturbing to hear that pharmacy errors are on the rise in Florida. CBS Miami recently conducted an investigation into the growing trend of mistakes behind the pharmacy counter.


A number of pharmacy workers—some of whom preferred to remain anonymous—reported that a new system called Performance Metrics was behind the troubling trend.


The Performance Metric system keeps track of the number of prescriptions each pharmacist fills and how fast they fill them. Additionally, this system requires pharmacists to meet quotas of flu shots and phone calls to patients.


In other words, Performance Metrics encourages pharmacists to rush in order to avoid rebuke from management. One pharmacist described the attitude of management when a pharmacist failed to meet their quota like so:


“You didn’t make all of your 50 phone calls. I want you to write an action plan to tell me how tomorrow, you are going to get all of your prescriptions filled, get your phone calls made, plus give out x number of flu shots.”


Pharmacists: Performance Metrics Leads to Mistakes


One of the pharmacists interviewed called the system “nerve-wracking” and “stressful,” and said she frequently worried about making a mistake that would harm a patient.


She wasn’t alone in her concerns. A survey of nearly 700 pharmacists by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices found that more than 83 percent believed Performance Metrics contributed to pharmacy mistakes.


“It’s do more, do more, do quicker,” the pharmacist said. “In a worst case scenario it could be a very dangerous prescription error, and I think anybody could draw a conclusion about what could happen.”


Who Can Be Held Responsible for Pharmacy Errors?


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Obviously, a stressed out pharmacy staff isn’t the worst consequence of unsafe practices like Performance Metrics. A mistake could be relatively minor, like a few missing pills. But sometimes a seemingly simple mistake by a pharmacist can have serious—even fatal—results.


Pharmacy mistakes harm over a million Americans each year. One way for the victims to fight back is through prescription drug lawsuits. The parties that can be held responsible for these errors vary depending on your situation.


The Pharmacy. When a patient is harmed by a medication, in some cases, companies like the above-mentioned pharmacies can be held accountable for their dangerous practices.

If company policies like the Performance Metric system put their customers at risk in exchange for profit, they should be held liable for the injuries that occur as a result.


Individual Pharmacists. In other cases, an individual pharmacist might be held responsible if they were deemed to have performed their job in a careless manner. They might mislabel a prescription, or provide an individual with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage.

Pharmacists also have a duty to warn patients about side effects or other important concerns when filling a prescription. If they fail in this duty, and the patient is harmed as a result, they can

be held accountable with a personal injury suit.


If you have been harmed by a prescription drug error, we would like to get in touch with you. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other recovery-related cost.


About the Author:


Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


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How to Help Prevent Prescription Drug Errors in Boca Raton

Prescription Drug Liability Lawyer Boca Raton

From drug companies to doctors to nurses to pharmacists, many people play a role in handling your prescription before it gets to you. As trustworthy as most of these individuals are, the fact is that accidents can – and do – still happen. Sometimes, somewhere along the line, mistakes can be made with your prescription that could cause you injury.


As frightening as it may be to think about, medication errors occur far more often than any of us would like, and sometimes they can be catastrophic. In Boca Raton, if an error made with your prescription results in you becoming sick or injured, you should always contact a lawyer to discuss your options and plan a course of action.


But we hope that you are never in this situation. To protect yourself and ensure that you do not fall victim to prescription drug errors, the FDA has compiled a list of steps that consumers can take to ensure their safety. Below, we have put together a number of tips to help you avoid prescription drug errors.


Know Your Prescriptions


Too often, patients either don’t realize or regularly forget which drugs they are taking. This can be an easy mistake to make, especially for patients who are taking multiple prescriptions. But it’s extremely important for you to be aware of the drugs you’re taking and to crosscheck with your doctors and pharmacists regularly to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page. To help you remember, make a list of all the medications and supplements you’re taking and keep it in your wallet.


Don’t Forget That Supplements Count as Meds, Too


Even if they’re completely natural (or at least claim to be), many supplements are unregulated, and their effects are not entirely known. When taken with prescriptions, they can cause effects that you may not anticipate. It’s important to remember which supplements you’re taking and mention them to your doctor anytime you discuss your medications.


Read Labels and Follow Directions Every Time


When you receive any prescription for the first time, read all the labels and directions so that you know exactly what the medication is, what its effects are, and how it’s meant to be taken. Beyond that, it’s also a good idea to read the labels of every prescription each time you take it. You may have two completely different medications that look almost identical, so be sure to double-check whenever you take your medications to avoid potentially dangerous mistakes.
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Check Every Prescription You Pick Up


By the time you pick up your medication, you probably won’t have a copy of the script that your doctor sent in, either because you gave it to the pharmacist or because your doctor sent it in electronically. However, you can obtain a copy of the script either by asking the pharmacist for one or by printing one yourself using your doctor’s online practice portal. Know which prescription you are supposed to be getting right down to the milligram measurement and compare it to what you end up receiving from the pharmacy. It’s also a good idea to have a conversation with your pharmacist every time you pick up a prescription to make sure you fully understand the medication.


If You Suspect Something Is Wrong, Speak Up


If something seems off to you, say something. Pharmacists are there to answer your questions, and it’s always better to speak up now than to pay a steep price for medication errors later. There might be a completely valid reason as to why your medication dosage increased or why you’ve suddenly been given a new brand of the same medication. Pharmacists should always tell you when changes like these show up, but in case they don’t, it’s imperative for you to ask them if you notice that something is wrong or different.


Keep in mind that the people filling your prescriptions are human and they make mistakes. So it never hurts to double-check, especially when it comes to something as important and potentially dangerous as prescription drugs. It’s always in your best interest to stay aware of your prescriptions and understand their effects.


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However, doctors, pharmacists, and drug companies should always be responsible for keeping patients safe from prescription drug errors, and they should be held accountable if they make a mistake that ends up harming you. If something does go wrong and neither you nor the medical professionals working with you catch it in time, call The South Florida Injury Law Firm, your personal injury lawyers in Boca Raton, to discuss your options.