Why is it still a criminal offence if you make an inadvertent dispensing error?

Greg Lawton


Greg Lawton is a pharmacist specialising in patient and medicines safety, staffing, data protection, privacy and healthcare policy.


We were lucky to catch up with Greg to have an in-depth conversation about dispensing errors in pharmacy.


There a few things that strike fear into hearts of pharmacists more than making a dispensing error. Making a dispensing error is still a criminal offence and can still lead to a custodial sentence. Unfortunately, we live in the real world and these errors do on occasion happen.


Are there too many errors?

Are all near misses and dispensing errors reported and are they analysed appropriately?

Should pharmacists face potential custodial sentences?

Do we share insights nationally well enough?


The issue is still on-going but it is my hope that we re-ignite the conversation around this topic.



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