03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Corporate Policies Can Play Role In Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacy chains say they've spent billions of dollars on safety technology and other improvements that have cut their prescription-error rates to a fraction of 1%. As aging baby boomers and other Americans increasingly rely on prescription drugs, an Auburn University pharmacy study in 2003 projected the odds of getting a prescription with a serious, health-threatening error at about 1 in 1,000. That could amount to 3.7 million such errors a year, based on 2006 national prescription volume.

A USA TODAY investigation found evidence that corporate policies -- such as allowing or encouraging pharmacists to fill hundreds of prescriptions daily and rewarding fast work -- can contribute to errors like the one that befell Trey Jones.

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