Adverse Drug Events
A serious type of medication error is called an "Adverse Drug Event" (ADE) by the Institute of Medicine. In its 2006 study, the IOM estimated that at least 1.5 million ADEs occur each year in the U.S. Medical labeling is considered a factor in up to 20% of occurrences.
For patients to take a drug safely, they need the following scientific, unbiased, information:
- What are the contraindications, the warnings that this drug might not be the right choice for the patient?
- What warnings and precautions about the drug are important?
- What are some common adverse reactions?
- What other drugs might interact with the prescribed drug?
- How is it used in specific populations such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, young children or older citizens?
- What should you do in case of an overdose?
The IOM cited studies estimating that more than 500,000 preventable ADEs occur among outpatient Medicare patients alone. Having correct, concise, easily accessible scientific information is key to avoiding these errors, the pain and suffering they cause, and the costs incurred.