So working in the hospital, as a nurse, one of our responsibilities is to be the very last check that a medication is appropriate and safe for the patient. I catch pharmacy errors on a regular (and too frequent) basis. Usually it is simple mistakes, caused by any number of contributing factors. But sometimes I find big errors, such as pharmacy putting 3 runs of IV KCL on the wrong patient's eMAR, who happens to have a K of 5.1!
So if I find these errors in the hospital, it makes me question how often they happen outside of the hospital, where there is no nurse to help verify that the medication is correct.
Today, one of these errors happened to my newborn nephew. The retail pharmacy entered the wrong dosage on the label... 5 times the intended dose. This dose was fortunately still a safe dose, even for a newborn. So luckily the MD says there should be no cause for concern. But just the fact that this kind of error occured and for a newborn that isn't even a month old yet, is scary.
So please, everyone make sure you're verifing not only your patient's medications against the original MD order, but also make sure you and your family are getting the correct meds and doses from your own retail pharmacy.