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Pharmacy mistake (long rant)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My mother gets her medication filled thru a popular mail order pharmacy here in the States. She just received a new bottle of blood pressure medicine and mentioned that the pills looked diffent than what she'd been taking. I checked both bottles of pills. The newest bottle were the correct pills, purple and white capsules. The old bottle (which had about 20 left from a 90 day supply) where white tablets instead of capsules. I called the pharmacy and told them I thought they had sent the wrong medication on her previous order. The pharmacist I spoke with confirmed that the pills were Metformin - blood sugar pills. So, my mom has been taking 1000 mg too much of her blood sugar medicine daily and not getting any of the blood pressure medicine she needed. (That would explain why her blood pressure was so high when she went to the doctor last week.) To make matters worse, the pharmacist sort of tried to blame my mom, basically accusing her of pouring her medicine into a different bottle. As a nurse, I would have owned up if I made a mistake. It makes me so mad that a healthcare professional seemed more interested in trying to CYA rather than admit they did something wrong. The patient simply cannot be blamed. I hope this pharmacist realizes how much worse it could have been if it had been Digoxin or blood thinner in that bottle. I also should point out that the Metformin my mom takes looks completely different than the Metformin they sent in the blood pressure med bottle.
post #2 of 3
Lodge a complaint and go as high up as you can with it. Like you said, such mistakes can be deadly. Don't be afraid to stir things up!

While my local pharmacy hasn't made any mistakes like that I cannot trust them to catch drug interactions with a prescription I take. I honestly believe the main reason for this is that the pharmacists have a fairly heavy workload - they don't have time to research every medication they order, even very odd ones. The techs handle most of the work and they only know basics.
Chances are that big mail order pharmacy has a few head pharmacists checking stuff over but techs are the ones filling the bottles and doing most of the work. Cheaper for a company/pharmacy that way.
post #3 of 3
Sadly enough sometimes you can't rely on a health care professional and you have to do things yourself to get things done right. I know because I have done it twice already with my parents.

These are people you rely on to help you, but a lot of the time you have to do your own research. This is what our healthcare has come down to.
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