Pharmacy Mistakes

Prescription drugs are supposed to make you feel better but frequently they can hurt you too. The news focuses on people abusing prescription drugs but sometimes that fault lies with the pharmacy that may prescribe the wrong medication to the wrong person. Pharmacists are under tremendous pressure to turn around prescriptions in under an hour. This pressure comes from customers who rely on corporate promises to have their drugs delivered in a certain amount of time. Pharmacists are supposed to review each pharmacy technicians work but due to under staffing may forget to double-check. This leads to problems.

Pharmacy Mistake 1: Wrong prescription

The most frequent pharmacy mistake that leads to personal injury errors is that the pharmacist fills the wrong prescription. This pharmacy mistake is due to human error that can be prevented. Doctors write prescriptions in bad handwriting which is transcribed incorrectly and the wrong drug is filled. Frequently drugs have similar names and if the pharmacist guesses – because of the time pressure – the wrong drug gets filled. This issue could be easily fixed if the doctors offices would type the prescriptions.

Pharmacy Mistake 2: Wrong person

The next pharmacy mistake is when a pharmacist gets the prescription right, but it goes to the wrong person. Now most of the time the customer will figure out that there is a mistake because the customer sees the wrong name or wrong drug. However, there might be a chance that two different customers have similar names or that the customer does not speak English and gets the wrong drug. This also tends to happen when relatives or family friends pick up the drugs and do not know what the correct drug is or even if the name is spelled correctly. The best way to solve this problem is to only release medications to the correct person.

Pharmacy Mistake 3: Wrong instructions<!–adsensestart–>

Sometimes when the drug is right and the person is right, the pharmacist gives the wrong instructions. How does this happen? Well typically the dosage might be adjusted for the patient and the pharmacist fails to inquire as to the other drugs that the customer may have. This results in instructions that are contrary to what appear on the label.


Pharmacy mistakes result in serious illness and death for several thousand people a year. Most mistakes are settled with the customer and the pharmacy, but sometimes the pharmacy refuses to admit their mistakes.