Efforts to reduce medication errors in the United States
Studies have shown that the number of medication errors are extremely underreported in the United States. The danger of prescription error has always been present, but after a report issued by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, the American public was made aware of just how widespread prescription error is.
- The report stated that between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths resulted from hospital medical errors and over 7,000 deaths were related to medication error.
After this report, the medical and pharmacy sectors made error prevention a priority and several agencies came together to monitor quality control in these industries, including:
- The Federal Drug Administration,
- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
- the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and
- the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Proposed regulation changes to reduce prescription errors.
To reduce errors in medications with sound-alike names, the FDA reviews drug names before they are put on the market to consumers.
- Recommendations for error reduction: The FDA tracks errors of similar-sounding drug names and publishes reports on them along with recommendations for reducing errors.
- Safety reporting: The FDA proposes to enhance safety reporting of drugs on the market. The proposed changes would require reports for important potential medication errors.
Unfortunately, despite the regulations in place, the rates of prescription errors in the nation are startling. Recent figures estimate that 1.3 million people are injured each year because of medication-related errors. Lawsuits help reduce the rate of prescription errors.
You can help prevent medication errors from happening to others by filing a lawsuit for prescription errors against corporations like Walgreens, CVS or other pharmacies.
A common assumption that people often make is to think that their claim would fall on deaf ears: most pharmacies are large corporations and one lawsuit would just be ignored. But this is not true: filing a lawsuit is the only way to make these businesses listen and take notice.
Pharmacies are in the business of making money; their biggest concern is their bottom line, not consumer safety. But one error by a pharmacist can cause severe injuries or even death.
How to make pharmacies take accountability for errors