In the UK, many of the most common types of ‘dispensing error’ involving prescription medicines, which result in an incorrect (or incorrectly prepared or labelled) medicinal product being supplied to a patient by or under the supervision of a pharmacist, are a criminal offence.

The decriminalisation of inadvertent dispensing errors is widely regarded as an important public safety measure so that pharmacists will be able to report dispensing errors without fear, in order to be able to learn from them and implement actions to reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

Greg Lawton said: “This is meant for pharmacists, students & policy makers. I hope it’s useful to someone as a reference for why and how decriminalisation of inadvertent dispensing errors would improve patient safety.”

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