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Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Prevent Pharmacy Errors?

Pharmacy mistakes can cause serious injuries or death, but there are ways for you, as a patient, to protect yourself and prevent drug store and other pharmaceutical errors from hurting you.

  • Know the name, dose, and prescribing instructions for every prescription drug you take.
  • Keep a record about your medicines; you can do this by writing down the information, saving the prescription inserts or storing the information on your computer.
  • Check to make sure that the label on your prescription bottle matches the information on the prescription the doctor wrote.
  • If you aren’t sure whether you received the correct drug, visit one of the websites that shows pictures of the pills. Or, if this is a refill, verify that the new prescription looks like the medicine in the old prescription bottle. In most cases, the new and old drugs should look identical (but with generics, they may not be identical). It never hurts to double check.

I have read about judgmental errors and mechanical errors by pharmacists, what is the difference?

A mechanical error is an error that occurs when a pharmacists prepares or processes a prescription; a judgmental error occurs during counseling, screening, or monitoring a patient’s medications.

Most pharmacy errors are mechanical errors, however, including dispensing the wrong medicine, or providing incorrect or inaccurate directions.

Judgmental errors include failing to provide or giving improper counseling, or failing to verify drug interactions.

Why does it seem like pharmacists make more errors than they did in the past?

Although there aren’t many studies that answer this question, there are many theories. For example, the volume of prescriptions being filled continues to increase, as do the number of drugs on the market. In addition, the vast majority of drug stores are now large, national chains that seem to place profits above service. In some cases, pharmacies may be understaffed, may rely too heavily on pharmacy technicians, may have inadequately trained staff, or may be staffed by workers who are tired because they have to work long hours.

How can pharmacy errors be prevented?

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and other groups have proposed various measures designed to prevent pharmacy errors, including:

  • Training, credentialing, registering and regulating pharmacy technicians
  • Mandating double-checks for all prescriptions
  • Requiring periodic competency examinations for pharmacists and technicians
  • Using bar-coding and other automated procedures to dispense prescriptions
  • Requiring pharmacies to report serious errors to governmental agencies
  • Implementing voluntary reporting systems for errors that do not injure patients
  • Encouraging patient counseling

If you, a member of your family, or a close friend, have been injured because of taking the wrong medicine or because of some other mistake, you should contact us at Pharmacy-Mistake.com for a free consultation.

Simply fill out the form on this website or call 215-735-3900 for help.

Our personal injury lawyers regularly handle pharmacy negligence cases and can assist you with all aspects of your case.

 
     
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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

 
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