A University of Maryland report revealed that unintentional drug overdoses now account for 24 percent of all unintentional deaths, which makes it the second leading cause of all unintentional deaths. Although many of these deaths may have been caused by intentional misuse of narcotic pain relievers, many more are the result of drug errors caused by:
- Illegible handwriting on the doctor's order
- Not cross-checking for drug interactions
- Poor transcription of usage directions, resulting in patients using the wrong dose
- Misinterpretation of a doctor's orders for dose strength or usage
The Reporting Process at the FDA is Long, Draconian, and Frustrating
Reports, which are four or five pages long, must either be mailed in, or they can be done online. The questionnaire doesn't request much information, other than the reaction experienced, how many times the patient took the drug, what the reaction was, and who makes the drug. Most patients don't know how to find the information requested by the FDA, and it doesn't leave much room to explain anything else, like drug allergies.
What Can Be Done about Drug Overdose Errors?
Many people are advocating the creation of a database that would track all these problems and changes to help make patients safer. Opponents, however, say the database would invade the privacy of patients. Either way, if a database is created, then its inception is still many years away. Until then, you, the patient, are your own best advocate and safeguard against drug mistakes.
If you or a loved one were victims of a pharmacy mistake, order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors," to learn more about what you can do to fight back. You can also speak to our pharmacy error lawyers 24/7 at 888-526-7616 to start your free case review.