There Seems to Be a Mistake with My Prescription

What Happens When a Mistake is Made with a Prescription?

When patients report medication errors to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) that involve pharmacy dispensing, they are usually more upset about the response, or lack of response, from the pharmacist or pharmacy management than with the error itself. It seems that all too often pharmacy staff and managers (including corporate leaders) may be leaving patients dissatisfied. For example, here is a comment from the parent of a patient:

Amitriptyline 20 mg was the drug my daughter should have been given. Instead, the pharmacy gave her amitriptyline 200 mg. She thought this was just a change in the way it looked because a generic was dispensed. She took what was dispensed and hallucinated and spoke irrationally all night long. The next day, she was not able to function, and slept most of the day. She called the pharmacy and told them. She said the pharmacist was not very apologetic and did not want to tell her what he had given her. He said he had filled this prescription himself. He told her to bring it in, and he would exchange it. She is having her prescription transferred to another pharmacy. We know things can happen, but to the family, the pharmacist’s lack of concern was the biggest issue.

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White round tablet with one red pill in background. Black background with reflection

White round tablet with one red pill in background. Black background with reflection

What happens when a pharmacist makes a mistake when filling your prescription?  According to Michael J. Gaunt, PharmD, who published the article above in Pharmacy Times on 01/18/2016, “Every pharmacy should have written procedures for handling medication errors.”  In addition to simply having written policies and procedures in place, these also need to be  “read and understood by every member of the pharmacy team. The procedures should be reviewed regularly for appropriateness to the specific workplace and updated to reflect changes in work flow and technology. They should contain specific guidance about what to say and do, what not to say or do, and who should be contacted, particularly when all the facts of a case may not be immediately known.”

The scenario described in the above article happens all too often in pharmacies all over this country, affecting approximately 1.5 million patients.  If you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a prescription errormedication mistake or drug defect, please call us directly at 844 RX ERROR (844.793.7767)  or email Aaron Freiwald at or Diane Danois at

Please join this conversation about prescription errorsmedication mistakes and drug defects, by visiting and by following me on Twitter @RxErrorLaw.