Remedy or Poison: 6 Medication Error Statistics Everyone Needs to Know

Remedy or Poison: 6 Medication Error Statistics Everyone Needs to Know
Remedy or Poison: 6 Medication Error Statistics Everyone Needs to Know

Are you aware of how many Americans use prescription drugs each day? Nearly 50% of US citizens have used some form of prescription medication within the last thirty days. This number only seems to be rising.

Medication error statistics could help you avoid falling victim to adverse drug events (ADEs). This article will explore some of the most pressing medical errors in healthcare.


1. Medication Errors Affect Millions

Common medication errors don’t just affect a small portion of the population—ADEs affect millions of people each year. In the US, the FDA receives about a hundred thousand reports of medication errors each year.

More people are taking prescription drugs than ever before. It’s not farfetched to guess that medication errors may become more prevalent. To counteract this, healthcare providers will need to enact stricter rules and regulations.

Additionally, pharmaceutical companies may need to change the way they do business. However, the pharmaceutical industry’s wealth may provide enough incentive to keep things as they are.

Still, physicians and companies must shoulder much of the blame together. Most patients don’t have experience or knowledge in anatomy, physiology, or organic chemistry.

The average person can’t comprehend the risks and benefits of any particular drug. Expecting otherwise is foolish. The healthcare industry consists of humans, so mistakes do occur.


2. Physicians and Pharmaceutical Companies Share the Blame

Pharmaceutical companies often receive the bulk of the criticism about overmedication, but physicians are equally to blame. Unfortunately, doctors and healthcare providers aren’t immune from making mistakes.

Medication errors in hospitals are far more common than you may think. Approximately 30% of patients released from hospital care have prescription problems.

Common issues range from dosage amounts to allergies to specific medications. If patients aren’t careful, they can experience adverse reactions due to a physician’s errors. A self-made medical profile or ID bracelet could help.

Doctors aren’t the only ones who make mistakes. Pharmaceutical companies can make grave errors during the manufacturing process. When this happens, patients may be poisoned by their medications.

Some of the most infamous cases of manufacturer negligence revolve around caffeinated beverages. In 2012, the FDA investigated Monster Energy drinks due to reported health problems.

Investigations into malformed medications aren’t as public, but they do happen. The FDA often steps in when poisonings occur, helping to set things right.


3. Not All Supplements Are FDA-Approved

There are increasing concerns about the overprescription of prescription medications. Many have turned to homeopathic treatments like health supplements and tonics.

The rise of homeopathic treatment might be somewhat beneficial, but it’s not without disadvantages. One of the most notable of these drawbacks is the lack of FDA-approval. Many so-called health supplements aren’t reviewed or approved.

Without such approval, companies producing these products can include almost every ingredient. They can also manufacture their supplements in any environment. Some consumers may suffer adverse effects after consuming such supplements.

Have you suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of a supplement provider? Then you may be entitled to restitution. Finding an attorney in your area only takes a few moments and could change your life for the better!


4. Medication Errors Are Often Harmful

A medication error could end a life. Many medication errors don’t result in death, but it is possible. A physician could make several mistakes that lead to harmful results.

Firstly, a healthcare provider can prescribe an incorrect dosage. A dosage that is too high may cause poisoning. A dosage that is too low may cause a person to fall ill due to a reliance on that medication.

Secondly, a doctor may prescribe a medication that the patient is allergic to. When this happens, the patient may experience a wide array of unpleasant symptoms. In the worst cases, they may go into anaphylactic shock.

Millions of people suffer adverse reactions, thanks to ADEs. The number of fatalities caused by medication errors is low. However, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the number of hospitalizations is in the thousands.


5. Prescription Drug Usage Is High

As we mentioned earlier, more people are consuming prescription drugs than ever before. This trend is affecting antibiotic effectiveness, wastewater management techniques, and the rate of medication error. 

More than half of all Americans take prescription drugs each day. There are currently about 330 million people living in the United States. As such, approximately 160 million Americans are currently at risk of medication errors.


6. Medication Errors Are Preventable

A study logged with the National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates that about seven million people deal with preventable medication errors each year.

With better training, education, and clinical trials, this number could be reduced. If you’re not a physician or pharmacist, you may feel there is little that you can do to protect yourself from ADEs.

But consumers can take matters into their own hands. Before ingesting any new drug, patients should perform their own research. Seek to understand ingredients, side effects, and drug interactions.

It’s also crucial that patients understand the potential side effects of their medication. In most cases, a physician will inform their patient about these before writing a script. Still, to err is human.


Understanding Medication Error Statistics Could Save Lives

Are you aware of the rising incidence of medication abuse and usage error? If not, then you may not be able to take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening to you. Hopefully, these medication error statistics help enlighten and inform you.

Nearly every medication error is preventable with proper education and precaution. Consumers can practice caution when consuming new medications. Physicians and companies can be more hesitant when releasing and prescribing drugs.

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