A pharmacist being prosecuted for a dispensing error strikes cold, hard fear into the hearts of the profession. So pharmacist Martin White’s four-month suspended prison sentence for the dispensing of propranolol instead of prednisolone reverberated around the sector in the final days of 2016.
Worse, the factors contributing to his mistake have all been heard many times before. Of course, they included working conditions and tiredness – ongoing issues that the sector has been grappling with for many years.
But then there was the similar packaging of the two medicines, a problem that sounds positively prehistoric.
In fact, it was a mix-up between propranolol and prednisolone that led to the most infamous dispensing error case of recent history: the conviction of locum Elizabeth Lee