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Dangerous Drug Combinations are Missed by Half of Pharmacies

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune “Pharmacies miss half of dangerous drug combinations” discussed their two year study on over 250 pharmacies to determine how often stores would dispense dangerous drug pairs without warning patients. The results showed that more than 50% of pharmacies prescribed dangerous combinations without notifying the patients.
According to the article, speed of medication delivery, fatigue and competition are major influences. For instance, one pharmacist said she filled out prescriptions every two seconds, showing pharmacists succumb to the demands of the customer’s, drug warnings are ignored and the prescribers make errors due to fatigue.
In response to the Tribune research, CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart each stated that they would take “significant steps to improve patient safety at its stores nationwide.” Combined, the initiative would impact 22,000 drugstores nationwide and involve additional training for 123,000 pharmacists and technicians, according to the article.
The “warning light fatigue” has implications for drug-gene interactions – the take away is “you can’t exclusively rely on your physician or your pharmacist.” As we look ahead, the Rxight genetic testing solutions and how our customers engage with them, may be more important than we ever considered.

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