Most of us believe that when we pick up our prescriptions from the pharmacy that we are receiving the correct medication. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are many cases of medical malpractice each year in which a misfilled prescription leads to the serious injury or to the death of a patient. However, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim if you follow these helpful steps:
- Be informed – Drugs can be mixed up! Many drugs look the same or sound the same. There are so many drugs like this that the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) created a list of easily confused drugs. For example, Advicor and Altocor sound very similar and clomiphene and clomipramine have similar spellings.
- Get both the brand name and the generic name of the drug – You should ask your doctor to write both of these down for you. Once you pick up your prescription from the pharmacy you should check to make sure the prescription on the bottle matches what your doctor wrote down.
- Ask your doctor to spell it out for the pharmacy – If your doctor calls in your prescription to the pharmacy ask your doctor to spell out the name of the drug. This will prevent the pharmacist from mixing up two drugs that may sound the same.
- Double check to make sure you have the right prescription – Never take medicine you received at the pharmacy without first looking at bottle. Always check and double check that the prescription name on the bottle matches up with what your doctor prescribed.
An estimated 2.4 million prescriptions are misfiled each year. Protect you and your loved ones from this preventable error by following the steps outlined above.