Posts tagged as:

pharmacist error

ISMP Requests Voluntary Reporting of Medication Errors

by Toby Roberts on March 24, 2010

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) began in the mid-1970s with the goal of tracking and investigating medication errors. Through voluntary reporting they review and investigate over 1000 medication errors each year.

The most common problems notes are not the pharmacists but the process of medication prescription and use.  Examples of breakdowns include, “look-alike vials of medication, the use of devises for medication delivery, similar drug names and similar brand-name extensions for over-the-counter drugs, dosing mix ups and ambiguous orders written by prescribers.”  The group collects information on the errors and then documents the likely reason for the mistakes and how they might be avoided in similar scenarios. [click to continue…]


Walgreens Fined $33 million for Prescription Mistake

by Toby Roberts on March 5, 2010

Walgreens lost a recent appeal to overturn a decision that awarded $33 million to the family of a woman who died because of an improperly filled prescription.

In 2002, Beth Hippely was prescribed the blood thinner Warfarin to help treat her breast cancer. The prescription that she was given was approximately 10 times the level prescribed. The jury in the original case found that the mix up was the cause of a cerebral hemorrhage that left her permanently disabled and in physical pain. She later died at the age of 46.

The appeals court upheld the original decision that found Walgreens liable and leveled the large payoff to the family. Walgreens would not comment on the case.,2933,587762,00.html


FDA Targets Medication Usage Errors

by Toby Roberts on November 6, 2009

This week the FDA launched a program aimed at reducing the number of injuries caused by preventable medication errors. The FDA is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come up with accurate estimates of the number of deaths due to medication misuse.

A large area of concern is the possible interactions of over the counter medications.  On the heels of the reexamination of the appropriate 24-hour dosages of acetometaphine, the FDA wants to focus on informing consumers of appropriate dosages and making those dosages easier to determine. New guidelines have recently been issued for medications that come with measuring devices such as cups or droppers.

The Safe Use Initiative is aimed at cutting in half the estimated 100,000 hospitalizations that occur each year from accidental and intentional misuse of medication. The hope is that by combining consumer education efforts with examination and revision of package and instructional standards the potential for misuse will drop dramatically.


As pharmacist, we are inundated with stress and pressure from our daily work. Often, there isn’t much we can do to eliminate that stress. But two recent court cases, in the US and UK, make it clear that the stakes for dealing with that stress have just gone up considerably.
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