CVS prescription mistakes prompt probe of staffing levels at Oklahoma pharmacy

A CVS Pharmacy in Owasso, Okla., is being investigated by the state's pharmacy board after a compliance officer found repeated medication errors, according to the Owasso Reporter.

The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy said earlier this month that it was looking into claims of inadequate staffing levels at chain drug stores after a New York Times report revealed pharmacists' concerns that unrealistic metrics are causing more medication errors. 

A compliance officer checked 200 prescriptions filled at the Owasso CVS and found a 9.5 percent misfill rate, according to the Owasso Reporter.

The board said the pharmacy violated provisions in the Oklahoma Pharmacy Act after a complaint filed last July claimed a pharmacist incorrectly filled a prescription, only giving one-fourth of the prescribed dose. The mistake allegedly caused the patient receiving the prescription to have increased and more violent seizures. 

That pharmacist was assessed a $6,000 fine and must complete hours of continuing education, according to the Owasso Reporter

The board is now investigating the Owasso CVS in light of other alleged mistakes, the pharmacy board's director confirmed to the Owasso Reporter. 

The pharmacist in charge of that CVS reportedly told the pharmacy board that pharmacists regularly worked unpaid 20 to 30 hours a week because of staffing shortages. 

"I believe that the pursuit of profits within CVS pharmacy has reached a critical point where the lives and health of their patients are being put in danger regularly," stated a complaint the pharmacy board received from one of the pharmacists. 

A CVS spokesperson told the Owasso Reporter that the company looks forward to addressing the complaints. 

"Our record of patient safety is outstanding, and we are committed to continuous improvement. We listen to feedback from our pharmacy teams on an ongoing basis to help us continue making improvements to our pharmacy operations, which includes ensuring we have the right staffing in each of our pharmacies at all times," the spokesperson said. 

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