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Don't Be a Victim of Bad Medicine

Make sure prescriptions are right for you

There's been lots of debate recently about medical errors, some of them fatal. Unfortunately, they can happen at hospitals, doctors' offices or your local pharmacy.

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says you can take steps to protect yourself from prescription drug problems. For starters, understand everything your physician wants you to do and why. If you get a prescription, make sure you can read it. Also, be sure your doctor knows about all your allergies and all medications you take.

When you pick up a prescription, ask the pharmacist to make sure the medication and dosage are what your doctor prescribed. A study by the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences found that almost 90 percent of medicine errors involved the wrong drug or dosage.

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