I wonder if these 100,000 are part of the 440,000 deaths from medical errors in the U.S.
A study from 2016 reveals that each year preventable adverse events (PAEs) lead to the death of 210,000-400,000 patients who seek care at a hospital.
Those figures would make medical errors the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.
DALLAS (KTVT) – The investigative team at KTVT-TV has learned there are more than 2.3 million prescription drug dispensing errors made every year in pharmacies across the United States.
About 100,000 patients die every year because of a pharmaceutical mistake according to reports published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
EFFECTS OF MEDICATION MISTAKES
Since 2016, KTVT learned the State of Texas has disciplined nearly 200 pharmacists for making errors. The documents obtained by KTVT show some striking examples of dispensing mistakes.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
Dr. Marv Shepard, the former Chairman of the Pharmacy Administration Division of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas in Austin, says errors typically occur because pharmacists are overworked.
“They’re having trouble because of the pressures of the environment,” he told KTVT. Dr. Shepherd says the stress of staying open 24 hours can be overwhelming.
KTVT learned it is not just pharmacies making mistakes.
While it is rare, drug manufacturers have also put the wrong medicine in a sealed bottle and then sent the bottle to pharmacies.
Experts say the industry is cracking down on errors at the manufacturer and pharmacy level. The FDA has created a commission to change the names of similar sounding drugs. Electronic prescriptions have helped with handwriting mishaps. In addition, barcode technology has also helped lower dispensing errors.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
When you leave the pharmacy and tear the insert off of the bag containing your medicine, make sure you check the description of the drug on the insert and compare it to what is in the bottle.
Online sites can also help you determine what your medicine should look like and if you have the right pill:
- WebMD’s Pill Identifier
- CVS Pill Identifier
- Medscape Pill Identifier
- Here are some more ways you can avoid taking the wrong medication.