Deadly pharmacy errors mount as companies push quotas, limit staff: ‘I am a danger to the public’
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Post
Posted: October 16th, 2023
Every year, up to 9,000 people die in the US as a result of a prescription medication error. That figure doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of patients who suffer adverse effects from taking the wrong medication or taking meds in the wrong way. Now, an investigative report from the Los Angeles Times reveals that pharmacies make an estimated 5 million errors every year in California alone, according to the state’s Board of Pharmacy. But even as pharmacy errors mount across the US, pharmaceutical lobbyists are pushing to keep reports of errors hidden from officials and the public. The problem, according to pharmacists and others, is most acute at big retail pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens, where overworked staff are pushed to the limit to meet sales quotas, despite desperate staffing shortages. To combat the rising tide of pharmacy errors, the California State Board of Pharmacy is sponsoring a bill that would require pharmacies to report every error to a third party outside the government. The bill would also allow the pharmacist responsible for the store to increase staffing if the workload has become too overwhelming to keep patients safe. But the bill is opposed by the California Community Pharmacy Coalition, a lobbying group representing retail pharmacies, including the big chains. The coalition believes pharmacy staffing requirements are too strict and it does not want the pharmacy board to have access to the error reports.