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Ohio pharmacist suspended for sloppy practices

An Ohio pharmacist is awaiting appeal for having her license permanently suspended. It appears that there were a number of irregularities concerning her practice which the court labeled "technical violations." Nevertheless, the violations were deemed serious enough to raise concerns that she was administering medications safely.

At her pharmacy there were unmarked intravenous mixtures and prescriptions shuffled in with her billings. It was also found that she had made medication errors 427 times from 2008 through 2009 when she misbranded a drug.

What the court found that possibly was most disturbing was the pharmacist's failed to acknowledge or understand that the way she ran her business presented a great many dangers to her patients. If she did understand the dangers presented she continued her practice in the same manner in any case.

Medication errors are often the result of misinformation or simple clerical mistake. Often nurses and pharmacy staffs simply cannot read a doctor's handwriting and do not take the steps to clarify that they are providing the correct medication. At other times, such errors come about because the wrong dosage is assigned. Many such mistakes are simply a result of poor miscommunication or mislabeling of a particular medication.

Prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to a patient can ultimately lead to severe injury or death. Though such a circumstance would seem like it could be easily remedied, too often a pharmacist or doctor's organizational skills are not sufficient to prevent such errors from occurring.

Sometimes the only way we can winnow out such pharmacists or physicians that continually make such mistakes is to hold them liable in a medical malpractice case. Attorneys experienced in this field of practice do understand the signs of such malpractice and what is and is not acceptable practice.

Source: Coshocton Tribune, "Court rules against license appeal," by Kathie Dickerson, March 14, 2012

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