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Prescription medication errors

When New Mexico patients have a prescription for a medication that has been prescribed by a doctor, they will need to pick up the medication from a pharmacy. For a variety of reasons, errors can sometimes occur when the pharmacists fill the prescriptions. In some cases, patients appear to be understanding of the error itself but not the lack of response by the pharmacist.

One parent whose child suffered hallucinations and extreme fatigue following a dosage error stated that the pharmacist was not responsive when he was asked about what had been given. She ultimately ended up transferring her prescription to another pharmacy as the lack of response to the mistake was problematic.

There are procedures that every pharmacy should have when it comes to responding to medication or dosing errors. These procedures should provide guidance regarding what the pharmacists should say and do when a patient reports a potential error. The response should include an apology for the issue and assurance that the error will be properly investigated to prevent it from occurring again. Additionally, the procedures should cover how to properly remedy the immediate situation and how to document the error.

A pharmaceutical error can result from an incorrect reading of the writing of the prescription or in filling it improperly. Because the wrong medication or the wrong dose can cause a dangerous or even fatal reaction, errors should be taken seriously. If one does occur, a patient who has been harmed as a result may want to meet with an attorney to discuss whether the filing of a malpractice lawsuit is warranted.

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