Prescription safety - Pharmacy Mix-ups (IMPORTANT)

The idea of getting the wrong prescription IS extremely scary and life-threatening. I talked to my local pharmacist and he gave me some tips on what to do to be diligent about the prescriptions your health care provider is prescribing.


TIPS about medications

--When your doctor is prescribing a medication, write down the name of the medication, dosage, and instructions for taking.

--Remind the doctor of any medications that the patient is taking and ask about possible interactions with current medications.

--Ask the doctor for any side effects to watch out for as well as when the medication should start working and when to report back.

--When you pick up the prescription, double check the prescription details with your notes and pharmacist and also ask the pharmacist about any side effects.

--Watch for side effects and report back to the doctor anything that seems unexpected.

There is a NYS feedback organization called the Office of the Professions that oversees this industry. You can fill out a Professional Discipline Complaint Form or call the Brooklyn office at 718.722.2840.

Pharmacists are humans, and therefore imperfect. Changes to the health care industry has actually made it more difficult for pharmacies to make money on medications so they have to fill more prescriptions in order to make the same amount of money they did 10 years ago. Higher volume means more time and more possibility for errors. My pharmacist also said that he doesn't know of one pharmacy that has a spotless record and that it's a pharmacist's worst nightmare to mis-fill a prescription. While PSP is a great resource for disseminating information, we don't want to start a witch hunt on pharmacies in the area by posting mis-filled prescriptions . If you are interested in knowing the exact pharmacist who made errors on prescriptions posted to the list, please contact the poster privately. The best thing people can do is to report errors so there is a paper trail and pharmacies with poor records can be brought into line so they don't jeopardize lives.


Susan Fox

Founder, Park Slope Parents