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News2012November › Banned drugs still being dispensed by the pharmacist › November 2012

Banned drugs still being dispensed by the pharmacist

Pharmacists are dispensing dangerous drugs that have been banned-because nobody has told them to stop

Pharmacists are dispensing dangerous drugs that have been banned-because nobody has told them to stop. Around 1,200 pharmaceuticals banned every year are still being taken by people when they have their prescription refilled, and are suffering serious effects as a result.
This alarming communication breakdown between drug regulators and the pharmacist has been uncovered by researchers who analysed the use of prescription drugs in one year. Taking 2009 as an example, they discovered that 1.5 per cent of banned pharmaceuticals-around 1,275 drugs-were still being dispensed, because there was no mechanism in place to inform the pharmacist.
Around 12 per cent of patients taking one of the banned drugs reported serious side effects such as low blood pressure and allergic reactions, and less serious ones such as nausea and light-headedness.
Overall, around 85,000 medications are discontinued every year because of safety concerns, and yet 1.5 per cent of them were still being used to refill prescriptions, the researchers found.
(Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012; 157: 700-5).


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