DA reports that as many as 1.3 million people are injured each year because of prescription errors, and in an article written for WRAL.com, Dr. Allen Mask reports that 7,000 of those people are killed. Centice, a company in North Carolina, has invented PASS Rx, a machine that can hopefully reduce those statistics.
There are more than 3000 different types of prescription drugs and most have a generic version that could look completely different. Up to now pharmacists have had to rely on visual aid and color to make sure that a prescription is in the correctly labeled bottle.
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PASS Rx takes the guesswork and human error out of prescribing medicine, and is simple to use. The pharmacist scans the barcode on the label of the bottle, which tells the machine what drug sample it is looking for. Then, the bottle is placed in the machine and the pharmacist hits the “Verify” button, which causes the bottle to start spinning and multiple sensors are used to verify the contents in the bottle. Then the results are shown and the machine displays the size, color and shape of the enclosed drugs, this result is then compared with the embedded database and determines if the label accurately states what is within the bottle.
PASS Rx is a very new device and currently can only be found in 15 pharmacies nationwide so pharmacy negligence is still a very real danger in the United States. So in order to prevent yourself from being harmed by medication errors, be vigilant whenever you are prescribed medicine. Ask your doctor what a prescription is for and what dosage is to be taken. Ask what the name of the drug is, and have it spelled it out for you. Also make sure your doctor is aware of all the supplements, prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking before he prescribes you anything. For more information on how to prevent prescription errors from occurring you can check out this short
Pharmacy Malpractice video