Prescription Drugs in Blister Packs: Beware of Human Error — Even at the Best Pharmacy!

two heads Animation1When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I asked Marg Meikle — aka The Answer Lady — for advice. She said, “Find yourself a good pharmacist.” So I did. How do I define a good pharmacist? Professional. Trustworthy. Knowledgeable. Accountable — particularly when something goes wrong. Here’s an example: The other morning while taking my first dose of meds, I noticed a pink tablet was missing from the bunch. So I checked my blister pack dispenser to see if the missing pill was stuck somewhere. No such luck. A quick glance at the contents of the entire blister pack dispenser made my jaw drop — this crucial first daily dose of levocarb CR, and the subsequent five daily doses were missing entirely. In fact, this prescription had vanished from my chart glued to the pack. A wave of panic swept through me: My quality of life depends on the correct dispensing of prescription medication, therefore I depend on my pharmacist. What if I hadn’t noticed this omission? How did this mistake happen? Who’s at fault? After a few phone calls, my pharmacist explained that weekly blister packs are no longer assembled at his pharmacy. Instead, they are farmed out to a centralized drug dispensing company. After checking my file, he explained one of his staff didn’t including levocarb CR on my order, and clearly needs better training. He asked if I had extras of these pills to take until the problem was resolved — which I did. Then he took the blame and apologized. Later that day, the pharmacy delivered a correctly filled replacement blister pack and took away the dud. That’s what I call a good pharmacist.

 

 

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About Robyn Michele Levy

I am an artist, writer, radio broadcaster, performer, mother, breast cancer survivor. I also have Parkinson's disease. My memoir, Most of Me, is available at local and on-line bookstores.
This entry was posted in Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease, health, Parkinson's disease, Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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