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Are you worried about prescription errors?

When a doctor writes a prescription, you assume you will be given the appropriate medication. From there, all you have to do is follow the directions on the bottle and wait for your condition to improve.

Prescription errors are more common than they should be. Despite the fact that millions upon millions of people take prescription drugs on a daily basis, there is no reason an error should occur that could have a negative impact on a person's health.

Injuries and illness can result from errors in dispensing and prescribing. Either way, the person ends up with the wrong prescription.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, this has become a big problem. Here is what the association had to say: "The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Preventing Medication Errors estimated that 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur each year in the United States. Another study estimated that 530,000 preventable adverse drug events occur each year among outpatient Medicare beneficiaries."

Regardless of how you look at these statistics, nothing changes the fact that many people are impacted every year by a medication error.

If you are worried about prescription errors, the best thing you can do as a patient is keep an open line of communication. Double check your prescriptions, both from the doctor as well as after you pick up the medication from the pharmacy. If you recognize a problem, it is best to get clarification before taking the drug.

In the event that a person is injured or becomes ill due to a prescription error, he or she could speak with an attorney about legal action against the negligent party.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians, "Simple Strategies to Avoid Medication Errors" accessed Jan. 15, 2015

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