What is Being Done to Reduce Medication Errors?

Our reliance on medication is sometimes unavoidable, and borderline excessive or unnecessary under other circumstances. Out of all the times a doctor has recommended that you take a certain prescription or over-the-counter drug, how many times have you objected? And should you?

While the answers to these questions are debatable, one of the most important things about medications is to do your research and always stay informed about the medications you are currently taking and have been recommended to take. What are the side effects? Do the benefits outweigh the potential risks?

Of course, there are instances in emergency rooms and even during surgery when, a patient does not have the ability to voice an opinion about a certain medication. We put our trust, and our lives, in the hands of medical professionals to make the right decisions. This trust, however, also extends to the major companies who create, test, label, market, and sell these medications.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not hide the fact that medication-related risks are preventable if all those dedicated to the safe use of pharmaceuticals work as a team. In fact, the FDA reports that studies estimate that up to 50 percent of harm from medication use could be prevented. This would mean that approximately 1.5 million medication error incidents could be prevented every year, based on data from the Institute of Medicine. The agency created the Safe Use Initiative in November 2009, and since then, has been launching collaborations within the health care community to help stop medication misuse, errors, and abuse.

It can be hard to believe that the lives of tens of millions of people who take medications are in the hands of such a small group of people. The FDA has major responsibilities of its own. The agency is in charge of regulating drugs, drug labeling, and drug manufacturing standards. Without the bar being raised high for drug standards, and without the agency keeping tabs on what drug manufacturers are doing, consumers can suffer significantly.

As the FDA continues to work on determining specific, preventable harm related to medication use, identifying interventions or strategies to lower incidents of harm, and finding ways to measure the success of these methods, it is our hope as Philadelphia pharmaceutical litigation attorneys that improperly labeled medications and dangerous drugs can stay off the market. For those out there who have suffered harm because of a dangerous medication or the misuse of medication on the part of a medical professional, the legal and medical team at The Beasley Firm is ready to help you find justice. Call (215) 866-2424 for a no risk, free and confidential consultation.