Officials say mis-fills of patient prescriptions difficult to track

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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ATLANTA - State investigators say they are seeing dangerous trend -- patients receiving the wrong prescriptions at their local pharmacy.

More than two million prescriptions are filled for controlled substances every month in the state of Georgia.

"You think you are getting an antibiotic, and you get a narcotic, and we've seen them get hardcore narcotics and it just knocks them out," Rick Allen, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman. "There is a high volume, and the pharmacists are working really hard back there and sometimes accidents are going to happen."

Allen said his agency gets about 20 calls a month, but it is hard to track how often it happens because pharmacies are not required to report the mis-fills.

"We would need 20 more agents that would be all they did if they worked all mis-fills," Allen said.

Margaret Johnson, a Walton County mother, said she received another patient's heavy dosage of anti-psychotics when she went to fill her son's prescription for antibiotics.

"I just can't get over it, knowing that I gave it to him and I didn't look at," Johnson told Stockman.

After Channel 2 Action News posted Johnson's story on Facebook, dozens of viewers contacted us saying this also happened to them.

"They totally filled the wrong thing, gave it my husband. He picked it up, he didn't look at it," Melanie Busby said she received the wrong prescription twice.

"I happened to look at it that night. I was like, so mad, I chucked it into the toilet, flushed it, and I was like never using this pharmacy again. This is too many times."

Allen said pharmacies are hiring more techs, who are not required to have much training.

"They get trained once they are in there, but we don't require any you just have to pay your money and pass your background," Allen said. The techs are required to be supervised by pharmacists.

Pharmacists recommend that you always consult with them before taking your prescription home. If the pill looks unfamiliar you should call your local pharmacy to double-check.



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