A Health & Disability Commissioner report has found that a patient’s rights were breached, and has recommended a pharmacist undertake retesting after failing to notice an incorrect label was applied to a customer’s prescription.

The patient had been prescribed painkillers following surgery. When the intern printed the label, he did not check it. Additionally, when it was given to the supervising Pharmacist, the error was not detected.

The label should have advised the customer to take 2 tablets every 6 hours. Instead, the label read to take 2 tablets every 4 hours. The Customer was admitted to hospital as a result of the overdose.

The Commissioner held it was the responsibility of the Pharmacist to check that the label had the correct instructions. Failure to do so meant that the Pharmacist breached the customer’s right to have services provided that comply with all relevant standards.

The Commissioner recommended that the Pharmacist be retested on the checking and assessment of prescriptions, and write an apology to the Customer. The pharmacy must also carry out an audit of staff compliance with procedures.

Customers filling prescriptions are protected under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. If you think the level of service being provided by a health professional isn’t up to standard, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley
Medical Lawyer