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Store says sorry after prescription blunder
Updated 1:59pm Wednesday 5th February 2014 in News
A SUPERMARKET has apologised and changed its pharmacy procedures after a blunder led to a patient being given the wrong medication.
Weymouth woman Coral Mears said she was left ‘angry and hurt’ after being given drugs to treat schizophrenia instead of medication for her leg.
It was not until she got home that Ms Mears realised a mistake had been made. The label said it was her medication but the box and the items inside were totally different.
Ms Mears, 35, collected her prescription from the pharmacy in Morrisons supermarket – but instead of receiving a drug for restless leg she was given one used for a variety of mental health disorders.
She said her confidence in the store has been shaken. She said she was given a £25 voucher as a goodwill gesture but added it was not good enough.
Morrisons apologised and ordered a full investigation.
Ms Mears said: “To put it politely I’m angry and hurt and that’s putting it kindly.
“I’m looking at it and thinking – what if I had taken it?
“I think it could have seriously damaged me if I had taken it.”
She added: “They were apologetic. It’s still not good enough to be honest.”
Ms Mears, of Chapelhay, was due to pick up Ropinirole, a drug used to treat her restless leg.
She took the prescriptions home and was about to take the tablets when her suspicions were raised as the box was a different colour to normal – even though the printed label stuck on the box was correct.
She says she then realised that the drugs, leaflet and box were totally different and were in fact a drug called Risperidone, which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including schizophrenia.
Following a call to the store, she decided to return the same day.
Staff were very apologetic, Ms Mears said and offered her £25 in vouchers as a goodwill gesture.
Although she has been going to the pharmacy for eight years, she said she won’t be returning.
She said: “I’m not going back there again to get my medicine.”
Ms Mears urged people picking up prescriptions to always check their medicine, just to be sure.
She said people tended to just ‘pop the pills’ and not necessarily think about them.
Supermarket changes procedures
IN A letter to Ms Mears, Morrisons said it would be changing its procedures to make sure it did not happen again.
The letter said that one of the points of the action plan is that medication checking techniques have now been changed.
The letter said: ‘The two items were originally in the same storage drawer due to the similarity of their names.
‘These items have now been placed into separate drawers and this will reduce the possibility of another error between the two medicines.’
The letter added that the ‘pharmacy will now be monitored for improvement in their performance relating to this matter.’
Morrisons spokesman Claire Johnson told the Echo: “Cases like this are rare. We have apologised to the customer and our pharmacy team are investigating.”
- WEYMOUTH GP and deputy chairman of the locality Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Jon Orrell said if taken, the medication incorrectly given to Ms Mears would cause sedation and tiredness.
Commenting on the pharmacy blunder, he said: “This sounds like an understandable human error.
“In general, pharmacists are very accurate and thorough with dispensing. Indeed, doctors are often helped by chemists picking up errors.
“The pills in question would have been next to each other on the shelf so it’s similar to drivers putting petrol in a diesel car.
“This is a rare slip-up from a usually very reliable pharmacy.”