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Proposed Florida Law Likely to Increase Pharmacy Mistakes

March 24th, 2014

Florida’s retail pharmacies fill almost a million prescriptions a day, and the pharmacists are perpetually busy. They are also expensive to hire. That’s probably the reason that retail chains like CVS and Walgreens have lobbied so hard for a bill that is making its way through the Florida legislature. The law, which is opposed by the Florida Pharmacy Association on grounds that it would increase the number of mistakes made, would allow Florida pharmacists to oversee six times as many pharmacy technicians as they do now. The law has already passed the full House.

Current law allows Florida’s pharmacists a ratio of one tech per pharmacist unless a petition for up to three techs is approved by the state Board of Pharmacy. The new law would require no such Board approval.

According to Bob Parrado, a retired retail pharmacist, consultant and former president of the Florida Pharmacy Association, every pharmacist makes errors. “I’ve seen statistics where 99.91 percent of the prescriptions filled in the United States are correct, but what about that .09?” With 235 million prescriptions written in Florida every year, an error rate of just that .09 percent would mean 212,000 drug errors per year, or 580 per day. And that’s based on prescriptions being filled by pharmacists or pharmacy technicians under supervision. Multiplying the number of pharmacy techs without increasing supervision will undoubtedly result in more errors, and every prescription drug error runs the risk of serious injury or even death.

According to Parrado, pharmacy technicians serve a valuable purpose but they also do not have the kind of extensive training that pharmacists do, and they frequently make mistakes. “Unfortunately, a few times a day, once or twice a day,” he said.

It’s fear of these mistakes that is making the Florida Pharmacy Association is standing in opposition to the proposed law.  “They should be looking at the safety of the patient,” says Bob Parrado, speaking from years of experience.

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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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