Pharmacies are putting PROFITS ahead of PATIENTS. And this hidden new form of medical malfeasance isn’t just robbing us all blind. It’s hurting people too.
In some tragic cases, this ugly rush to squeeze every last dollar out of your medical coverage has led to deaths.
A damning new report in the New York Times finds that chain pharmacies are pushing limited staff to do a whole lot more with less, rushing them to the point where mistakes aren’t just likely. They’re inevitable.
In one horrifying case, an 85-year-old woman was given a powerful chemo drug instead of her antidepressant. She died weeks later.
It’s gotten so bad that one pharmacist at a big chain wrote anonymously to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy: “I am a danger to the public.”
But there IS a way to STOP the danger, PROTECT yourself, and FIGHT BACK against this deadly system.
The FATAL flaw of chain pharmacies
The shocking report reveals the problem isn’t isolated. It’s pervasive throughout the big chain drugstores, big-box retailers, and supermarket chains.
The pharmacists there are perpetually understaffed and overworked. They aren’t allowed to focus on filling each prescription carefully. They’re far too busy for that.
They’re also expected to…
- give injections
- answer the phone
- do patient consultations
- staff the drive-through
- and more
In fact, one pharmacist told the newspaper he worked a 13-hour shift with no breaks in which he filled 552 prescriptions – one every minute and a half – while STILL doing all of the above.
And that’s not all they do…
Pharmacists also have to hit targets to earn their bonuses. At one pharmacy location, the Times reported, those targets included getting 65 percent of patients to switch to automatic refills and 55 percent to switch from 30-day to 90-day drug supplies.
THAT’S why they’re always pestering you with that stuff at the pharmacy window. Their bonus is on the line.
And that’s STILL not all…
Many of these pharmacies force their pharmacists to call doctor’s offices to encourage them to write refills of lapsed prescriptions. That includes harassing them for refills on drugs only meant for short-term use. (And yes, it drives doctors NUTS.)
2 ways to protect yourself from pharmacy errors
But you can take two steps to protect yourself…
STEP ONE: If you can, ditch the chains for an independent pharmacy. Independent pharmacists aren’t trying to hit corporate targets so they can put YOUR health front and center.
You can find one near you by visiting independentpharmacydirectory.com. Just punch in your zip code, and they’ll show you the local options.
Of course, it may not be possible for you to leave a corporate pharmacy for various reasons. Then it’s on to…
STEP TWO: Read all prescription labels carefully. Make sure it’s YOUR name and the drug you’re supposed to be taking, not just on the bag but on the bottle inside too. One person in the new report caught a major error when he noticed his “eye drops” had “for use in ears only” printed on the bottle.
And for any drug, especially new and unfamiliar ones, once you get home, check each pill against an identification chart to make sure you’ve received the right one. There are several available online. Type in the name of your drug, and you’ll get a picture of precisely what it’s supposed to look like.
You SHOULDN’T have to do this much work to get your meds. But as this sobering new report shows, not doing it could have deadly consequences.