The Health and Disability Commissioner has recommended a pharmacy conduct an audit of all incidents and retrain its staff on the role of dispensing repeat prescriptions after a customer was given the incorrect medicine.

The customer took the provided medicine for seven days before becoming unwell and being taken to hospital.

The customer complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner. During the investigation, it was determined two errors led to the provision of the incorrect prescription.

Firstly, the two medications had very similar names and the technician mistook the incorrect medicine for that on the prescription. Secondly, the charge pharmacist failed to check the prescribed drug and discuss it with the customer.

The Commissioner determined the pharmacy and pharmacist breached their duty of care to the customer under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

In addition to undertaking the audit and training, the pharmacy was required to provide a copy of the audit report to the Commissioner to review within four months.

Health practitioners owe a duty of care to the patients and customers they serve. If you believe a health practitioner has breached their obligations toward you, it is wise to consult a professional experienced in the area.

Alan Knowsley
Medical Lawyer