Veterinary prescribing errors in community pharmacy: a retrospective review


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J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). November 11, 2021: S1544-3191 (21) 00468-4. doi: 10.1016 / j.japh.2021.11.007. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Community pharmacies are set to see more veterinary prescriptions due to the increase in the number of pet owners, especially during the 19 coronavirus disease pandemic. Concerns have been raised about the lack of veterinary pharmacy training that community pharmacists receive, but no studies have assessed the true prevalence of errors in veterinary prescriptions, including the prevalence of prescription writing errors.

OBJECTIVES: This study identifies the prevalence of errors in veterinary prescriptions in independent pharmacies.

METHODS: An electronic form was used to ensure that the required information was extracted from the pharmacy software systems in a consistent manner. The information was taken from the paper image and prescription label corresponding to this filling. Prescribing trends, such as species and errors, were assessed using descriptive statistics for the overall sample. Comparisons of error between written and verbal prescriptions and between weight-based and non-weight-based prescriptions were assessed using exact chi-square and Fisher tests.

RESULTS: Weight, although not required by law but clinically necessary for evaluation of veterinary prescriptions, was omitted from 97.8% of prescriptions. When assessing the prevalence of errors between handwritten and verbal prescriptions, it was more likely to see errors in the handwritten prescriptions by the veterinarian (105 of 119; 88%) than the verbal prescriptions (257 of 389; 66 %). Conversely, handwritten prescriptions were less likely to omit the required Drug Enforcement Agency number on prescriptions for controlled substances.

CONCLUSION: Based on the number of errors observed in handwritten and verbal prescriptions, emphasis should be placed on training pharmacists to be competent in the clinical evaluation of veterinary prescriptions and training veterinarians on the handwritten prescriptions to include both legally and clinically required information prior to dispensing.

PMID: 34872858 | DOI: 10.1016 / j.japh.2021.11.007


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