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Pharmacy Error May Have Lead to the Death of 21 Polo Horses

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Twenty-one of twenty-six Venezuelan polo horses collapsed shortly after being administered a compound similar to Biodyl–a French-made supplement including vitamins and minerals not approved in the United States. The five horses that survived, were not administered the supplement.

The prescription was written by a Florida pharmacist, but only certain compounding pharmacies are authorized to create the drug. Jennifer Beckett of Franck’s Pharmacy in Ocala, Florida, told the Associated Press that the pharmacy conducted an internal investigation and found that the strength of one of the ingredients was incorrect.

One in five prescriptions filled contain an error. 57% of medication errors result in adverse outcomes–death or serious illness. You can help avoid pharmacy errors by staying informed and asking questions. Ask your doctor about the name of the prescription he or she is ordering or any alternative generic names. Also, be sure to ask about the dosage when ordering medication. It is important to be aware of the strength of the ordered medication and the frequency with which it should be taken. Finally, ask if there are any drug interactions or any side effects you should be aware of.