Report: Pharmacies miss some dangerous drug combos

When it comes to getting drug prescriptions filled, the public is at risk, according to a 2-year investigation by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Reporters went to 255 pharmacies in the Chicago area, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, every major chain as well as independent pharmacies, and discovered that pharmacists were filling prescriptions for risky pairs of drugs without alerting patients about the dangers.

Chicago Tribune reporter Sam Roe said the investigation found that about half the pharmacies did not warn about two drugs that shouldn't be taken together. The reporters would ask for prescriptions for two different drugs that when taken alone are relatively safe but when taken together can be deadly.

Roe said that pharmacies have a legal responsibility to warn a patient of a potentially dangerous combination. The investigation found  that most pharmacists were not alerting patients because of pressure to fill as many prescriptions as they can every day.

Roe said that as a result of the investigation, major chains are taking action.