Apology after drugs mix-up at pharmacy

PUBLISHED: 12:27 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:44 15 June 2010

BOOTS chemist has apologised for errors which led to a Feniton pensioner twice being delivered doses of drugs up to five times her prescribed amount.

BOOTS chemist has apologised for errors which led to a Feniton pensioner twice being delivered doses of drugs up to five times her prescribed amount. The dismayed daughter of the 86-year-old, who lives alone and is reliant on medication after suffering a mini-stroke, said Boots in Broad Street, Ottery St Mary, last year delivered her "mildly confused" mum tablets amounting to more than double the dose of blood-thinning Warfarin prescribed to her by doctors. This month, the daughter said her mum received a "carrier-bag's worth" of medications, most of which she had not been prescribed, as well as four times her usual dosage of cholesterol controlling drug Simvastatin. Printed labels on all the boxes of medication bore the elderly resident's name and recommended dosage instructions. The 57-year-daughter, who did not want to be identified, placed her mum's order with the chemist on June 3 and said: "Some items were things she does take and I didn't even know what some of the others were. "There was 100 paracetamol, soluble asprin, an inhaler and other tablets - all with her name and a recommended dosage on them. "In the bag there was a prescription with an Ottery woman's name and address on it - she shared the same christian name as my mum." "It's not the first time it has happened. Mum has had a mini-stroke and she takes this medication so it doesn't happen again. Last year she was delivered 5mg tablets of Warfarin (used to reduce the risk of blood clots) instead of 0.5. She usually takes 2.5mg but would have taken seven."The daughter, who is her mother's main carer, added: "I went in and found her putting it into her cassette ready to take, and I only noticed because the tablets were a different colour. She just thought they had changed it. "I don't know what would of happened if mum had taken what she was delivered."Mum just thought the doctor had changed her prescription and to elderly ladies like her, what he says goes. "A lot of elderly people in this area live alone and rely on having their medication delivered. Some won't have family members nearby to check it for them. "It's a constant worry to me now. I've got a lot to be doing in the day and shouldn't be checking what professionals are doing for her as well as everything else." The daughter said on both occasions the Ottery branch of Boots had apologised to her and admitted an error was made. This week she received a letter of apology from Boots' bosses. A Boots spokeswoman told the Herald: "Boots put patient safety at the heart of all we do. "The woman's daughter received an immediate apology from the store pharmacist along with a letter of apology from the Office of the Superintendent Pharmacist for Boots. "We would like to take this opportunity to reassure the elderly woman and our customers that we have thoroughly reviewed procedures in this store to minimise labelling errors as a result of this matter.

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