Dispensing errors rife, study reveals

Almost two thirds of pharmacists may be missing a dispensing error when performing a final check, a British study has revealed.

Only 35% of 103 community pharmacists participating in an experiment detected all five deliberate dispensing errors hidden in 50 test prescriptions.

The pharmacists were required to check 50 real medicines against realistic prescriptions in 25 minutes. The five errors (labelling and product errors) were unknown to the pharmacists. In addition, the pharmacists were subjected to distractions including a five-minute interruption during