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Walgreen’s has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit which alleges that a pharmacist provided a customer with a medication called amicar instead of the medication prescribed by his doctor, omacor.

The man had just undergone a cardiac catheterization and was prescribed omacor to lower his cholesterol. Amicar is intended to control bleeding and is inappropriate for a person who has undergone a cardiac catheterization.

The lawsuit claims that he was forced to undergo a quadruple bypass as a result of being given the incorrect medication.

One of the recognized risks in dispensing medications is that posed by “sound alike” medications — that is, medications with names that sound alike. To prevent this kind of error, most pharmacies will have reminders of the sound alikes posted where the medication is stored. Also, the pharmacist has an obligation to check the medication to ensure that it is appropriate for the condition being treated.

In situations where there is a sound alike medication being dispensed for a condition for which it is not indicated, the pharmacist must contact the doctor to ensure that he is dispensing the appropriate medication.

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