In a February 2014 report, Ginger Allen of CBS 11 News in Dallas says that she heard got hundreds of reports about pharmacy errors in the Dallas area after introducing the issue in January.
One was the story of Alice Bobo of Plano, who has heart disease and has taken Enalpril for more than a decade. When she looked at her monthly prescription and compared it to her previous one, she was confused: “On this [prescription], it’s saying it’s blue. It’s not. It’s orange.”
Bobo was afraid to take the pills, and recalled seeing CBS 11’s January report about the prevalence of pharmacy errors. A double check with the pharmacy revealed that Bobo had indeed received the correct prescription. But the new pills were made by a new manufacturer, which explained why they looked so different from the pills she had in the past.
Bill Bradshaw, a pharmacist in North Texas for over 40 years, contacted CBS 11 after seeing the January report. He told Ginger Allen, “There have been many times I have come home from work after a busy day and I’ll just lay in bed and pray that I did not make any mistakes that day… I have made mistakes. Any pharmacist that tells you they haven’t made mistakes would be lying to you [sic].”
Bradshaw’s concerns are shared by a number of pharmacists contacted Ginger Allen after her January 2014 report. These pharmacists say that errors arise in many situations, including being overworked, understaffed, filling more prescriptions than ever, juggling products in drive-through windows, administering immunizations and even dealing with cranky customers who may have just come from the doctor. Bradshaw says that these and other factors can make pharmacists more tense and prone to make mistakes: “That would be my ultimate fear…[that] I would make a mistake that would harm someone.”
Officials at the Texas Board of Pharmacy told CBS 11 that limiting the number of hours pharmacists work or the number of prescriptions they fill may be possible in the future, but no legislation to accomplish this is currently pending in Texas.
Finally, the Texas Board of Pharmacy encourages all patients to “be your own advocate:” pay close attention to what you receive in every prescription, and take it upon yourself to ensure that you have been given the correct drug(s).
If you or a loved one has suffered injury (or worse) due to pharmacy malpractice, Greening Law, P.C. stands ready to help you with your legal needs. Contact our offices today at 972-934-8900 or online.