Prescription errors: Rampant and under reported

State data isn't accurate say experts

Every day, pharmacists count, pour and hand patients medication.  Medication that isn't always right.

"In this field,  you can't make mistakes," Helena Castilla, of Lake Worth, told the Contact 5 Investigators.

Nearly two years ago, Castilla learned they do.

"What was it about that moment?" asked Contact 5 Investigator, Katie LaGrone.

"The shape was the same but the color was different.  I looked at the pill and just had a weird feeling."

Her ten-year-old son Nicholas had been taking Intuniv,  a popular medication for attention deficit disorder, and was about to swallow a new dose.

I had a moment where your hands are shaking.  It's so surreal.  All of a sudden to think you wake up your child in the morning to go to school and he doesn't wake up," Helena said. 

Experts call it the under-reported problem in a billion dollar industry which is often criticized for putting company quotas over patient safety.

"You're saying pharmacy errors happen a lot more often than what we ever hear about and what's ever reported?" asked the Contact 5 Investigators.

"Yes," said Dr. Carsten Evans, a pharmacist turned professor at Nova Southeastern University.

Hear the revealing truth about the frequency of pharmacy errors and why, experts say, state data does not tell the real story.

The report airs Monday at 11 p.m. only on NewsChannel 5.

 Have you had a pharmacy scare? If so, share it with us.  Join the conversation on Contact 5 Investigator, Katie LaGrone's facebook page.

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