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Walgreens Knew About Pharmacy Error Risks


Reports Reveal That Walgreens Execs New of Prescription Error Risks

Although completely preventable, prescription drug mistakes are some of the most persistent and damaging medical errors that can happen and cause nearly 9,000 people to die as a result each year. And according to The New York Times in a report published on February 21, 2020, executives from a major U.S. drug store chain know all too well how those mistakes can happen but still did nothing to help. Walgreens executives knew of the complaints by pharmacy employees that “unreasonable” stress levels were leading to errors in filling prescriptions. Executives later removed the damaging remarks and “high level findings” from presentations created by a consulting service hired to examine the company’s computer system for filling prescriptions, the Times said.

  • Amy Bixler, the director of pharmacy and retail operations at Walgreens, told consultants to delete a bullet point that mentioned how employees “sometimes skirted or completely ignored” proper procedures to meet corporate metrics.
  • Another Walgreens spokesman told the Times that the initial report included “information gathered through informal engagement with staff at a handful of stores” and that revisions to the final draft were intended “to help ensure that the report appropriately focused on the most relevant aspects of the technology and user experience.”

Walgreens is based in Deerfield, Illinois. According to an FAQ section on its website, the company filled 1.2 billion prescriptions on a 30-day adjusted basis in fiscal 2019.

Overworked and Stressful Shifts Cited as Biggest Problems for U.S. Pharmaceutical Staff

A prescription error can arise from misinformation, health care provider carelessness, or when a pharmacist fails to warn of drug’s side effects or a drug’s interaction with other medications or provides the wrong prescription or medicine to a pharmacy customer. Pharmacists from several states who are employed by chain drugstores like Walgreens and CVS have been complaining to news outlets and lawmakers for years that understaffing workplaces create stressful distractions and irreversible mistakes that could endanger their pharmacy customers. Yet medication errors remain one of the most dangerous and common aspects of medical malpractice.

When a medication error occurs, the effects can be devastating to victims and their families and may even cause death. Victims must understand their rights to receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries or loss. As well, filing a medical malpractice suit may be the only option for consumers to hold these corporations responsible.

Levin & Perconti Can Help Determine the Value of Your Pharmacy or Prescription Drug-Related Injury

If you believe that your loved one has suffered from a prescription drug-related injury or wrongful death due to a failure by an Illinois pharmacy, they may be entitled to compensation. All consultations are free, and we work on a contingent fee basis, so there are no related costs for our services unless we successfully resolve your case. Call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to speak with a lawyer.