The Tribune reporter walked into an Evanston CVS pharmacy carrying two prescriptions: one for a common antibiotic, the other for a popular anti-cholesterol drug.
Taken alone, these two drugs, clarithromycin and simvastatin, are relatively safe. But taken together they can cause a severe breakdown in muscle tissue and lead to kidney failure and death.
When the reporter tried to fill the prescriptions, the pharmacist should have warned him of the dangers. But that's not what happened. The two medications were packaged, labeled and sold within minutes, without a word of caution.
Tribune investigators sampled 255 area pharmacies. Here's the failure-to-warn rate for several:
Independent Pharmacies: 72%
Shouldn't this be easy to improve with a relatively simple program that flags risky combinations?