Penbrinck took his prescription for Hydrocodone to his local Walgreens expecting to get pain medication for his hernia. KMOV.com reported he was given the wrong medication by the pharmacy and he proceeded to take it for several days before he ended up in the hospital.
Instead of the pain medication he was prescribed, Apenbrinck was given the heart medication Amlodipine Besylate. The prescription bag had the correct name on it and Apenbrinck took the pills as directed. After several days he ended up dizzy and fell off a ledge, leaving him hospitalized for several days. According to the lawsuit filed by Apenbrinck’s pharmacy error lawyer, Apenbrinck now suffers from an irregular heartbeat and permanent injuries to his head, neck, back, and nervous system.
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Apenbrinck stated he called the Walgreens about the incident. According to him, they apologized for their dispensing error and said they had tried to get in touch with him but did not have his information to do so. Walgreens reportedly told KMOV.com, “cases like this are rare, and we take them very seriously. We’re sorry this occurred and we tried to contact the family within hours from when the prescription was filled to apologize. We have a multi step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error. We investigate what happens in each case and work to prevent it from happening again.”
Unfortunately, there is no way to find out if what Walgreens is saying is actually true. All states, including Florida have a voluntary reporting system for misfiled prescriptions. However, because the system is voluntary and the private retail pharmacies do not self report, the states system way undercounts the numbers. The individual pharmacy chains definitely count the number of pharmacy mistakes they make, but Florida law, like all other states, gives them the right to keep their numbers confidential. Pharmacy malpractice attorneys have tried to get these self protection laws overturned. However, so far the lobbyists for the pharmacy industry have decided it is more important to protect the pharmacies right to privacy than it is to give the public access to this information.