The U.S. Food and Drug and Drug Administration (FDA) is teaming up with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) to develop collaborative efforts to reduce preventable harm from medicines and to educate the public on how to take medicines safely.
The FDA points out that medication errors are preventable mistakes that happen in labeling, prescribing, packaging, dispensing, and communication when the medication is ordered. Causes or medication errors include:
- confusing drug labeling;
- miscommunication between physicians and pharmacists (i.e. bad handwriting on prescriptions);
- health care professionals who don’t have complete patient information;
- similar or identical packaging for different dosages; and
- name confusion of drugs that have similar names.
Frighteningly, medication errors are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States and an estimated 7,000 deaths per year can be directly attributed to those errors. 1.5 million people are injured every year and over $3 billion dollars a year goes towards the treatment of medication errors.
The collaboration between the FDA and ISMP is designed to expand the FDA’s reach when it comes to distributing information to the public and to health professionals when there are issues with product safety and effectiveness.
“The partnership gives consumers more resources to help them protect themselves and their families from medication errors,” an FDA official stated.
The Tallahassee personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah believe this is a good step towards curbing the alarming and growing trend of medication errors in the United States. Still, much more needs to done. If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed because of a medication error, you may be eligible for compensation. Call us at (800) 533-3555 to discuss your legal options with our experienced and knowledgeable team.