California is 1st state to require pharmacists to report errors

California is the first state to require pharmacists to report every prescription mistake.

On Oct. 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1286, called the Stop Dangerous Pharmacies Act, which allows pharmacists-in-charge at retail locations to create staffing level rules. This provision is intended to "ensure sufficient personnel are present in the pharmacy to prevent fatigue, distraction or other conditions that may interfere with a pharmacist's ability to practice competently and safely," the law says. 

The law compels pharmacies to report all medication errors to the state board within two weeks of realizing the mistake. The reports — which could include the wrong patient, dose or direction — will be confidential. 

Outpatient hospital pharmacies are not required to report drug errors that are defined as adverse events, the law says.

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