Pharmacist mistakenly gives woman wrong pills

SEATTLE -- A local woman said she's learned a lesson after a scare with her prescription medication, and now she has a lesson for everyone else.

Sandra Herrera suffers from multiple sclerosis and recently had surgery on her hip. She's now on several medications, but she realized one of her prescriptions is not what the doctor ordered.

Herrera said it was a subtle difference in color that tipped her off that she was given the wrong pills.

"I just happened to read this really small print that describes the pill," she said.

The pill was supposed to be a 250 milligram capsule. It was supposed to be white and green and have the numbers 293 on it. Instead, she found a 500 milligram capsule that was light green and dark green and had the number 294 on it.

Herrera had been taking a double dose for two days.

"My doctor prescribed this amount because he knows all the medicine I take for my MS, so how do I know if those two days did something to my liver. I may never know," she said.

The label on her prescription was correct, but a Rite Aid pharmacist gave her the wrong dosage.

"Why don't they have protocols that check, do a double check to make sure this is right before it goes to the customer?" Herrera said.

In a statement, a Rite Aid spokesman said there's a seven-point check for accuracy before each prescription leaves the pharmacy. The company is now investigating to see if that procedure was followed.

The statement reads, "Patient safety is a top priority for us. Rite Aid takes all complaints including this one very seriously, and we work very hard to ensure accuracy."

The pharmacy apologized to Herrera, but she said she will get her prescriptions elsewhere from now on.

"It only has to happen to me just once," she said.

As part of Rite Aid's investigation, local management is speaking with the pharmacy staff to make sure they follow training procedures.