When customers pick up medicine at the pharmacy, they should have a reasonable expectation that the pharmacists dispensing your prescription are well trained, proactive, and detail-oriented so that your medication is filled properly and correctly. What happens, however, when pharmacies are unable to provide patients with the high-quality care they deserve and wrong medications or doses put patients at risk for injury or death?
According to a recent news report, understaffing at various pharmacies has placed various patients at risk and has raised concerns about patient safety. After a pharmacist at a particular pharmacy gave a patient a hundred extra doses of a powerful prescription opioid and gave another patient an antibiotic that landed them in the hospital because of a known allergic reaction, there has been increased scrutiny on chronic understaffing and unsustainable workloads prevalent in pharmacies. One pharmacy chain, in particular, received a $427,000 fine after an investigation found that basic protocols were not being followed.
Because pharmacies, especially those that operate at high volume locations, are responsible for filling anywhere between 500 to 1,000 prescriptions a day, can receive upwards of ten phone calls at a time, and operate drive-thrus and in-store services such as medication counseling and flu vaccines, many pharmacists and technicians report being overworked and under-supported, leading to mistakes.