Neville et al classified prescription errors for a general practitioners. Communication between pharmacist and physician about the number and type of errors can reduce numbers over time. The authors are from the University of Dundee and Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee.

People affected:

(1) patient

(2) pharmacist

(3) clinician





Type A

potentially serious for patient if prescription dispensed

major error in dose; wrong drug name

Type B

major nuisance

contact by pharmacist with physician to clarify major omission or ambiguity

Type C

minor nuisance

contact by pharmacist to clarify minor problem

Type D


no doubt about intent but spelling or punctuation errors


Sources of problems:

(1) errors in dosage determination

(2) legibility of handwriting

(3) errors in specification of the formulation

(4) errors in packaging

(5) error in a number entered

(6) other

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