In what many people are referring to as “long overdue”, the FDA has recently announced its new program called “The Safe Use Initiative” to help lower wide-ranging problems associated with drug dose errors. According to a latimes.com report, the problem of drug dosage error takes a staggering toll on consumer and patient health in addition to costing about $4 billion a year. In fact, based on a study by the Institute of Medicine in 2007, approximately 1.5 million preventable “adverse drug events” take place in the United States every year. With this information in mind, it is no wonder that the Food and Drug Administration is calling on doctors, consumers, and various other healthcare professionals to help in identifying drugs and circumstances that may be particular problems.
In its efforts to lower the deaths and severe health problems brought about by misuses of medication, the FDA adverse event reporting system and the organization as a whole are trying to determine the most serious threats, dangers, and risks, and find ways to prevent them from happening. The agency is supposed to hold public hearings to gather information pertaining to the following drug concerns:
- Overuse of acetaminophen (a pain reliever that can cause liver damage if too much is taken)
- Information given to patients (i.e. package inserts, labels and instructions that pharmacists distribute when giving prescriptions)
- Ways to lower dosage errors in liquid medications by including a spoon or cup to accurately regulate a dosage
This initiative may be a groundbreaking step in the right direction to help curb drug dosage error in a way that proves effective and long-lasting. Due to poorly tracked activities such as accidental overdoses, dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, abuse of medication and drug quality defects, accurate data demonstrating how many people suffer severe injury or wrongful death from medication misuse is not currently available.
In devoting over 30 years to protecting the rights of consumers and injury victims, the personal injury law firm of Anapol Weiss has seen just how devastating the consequences of a defective drug can be on a consumer and his or her family. It is for this reason that our experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorneys will be monitoring the progression of the FDA’s “Safe Use Initiative”.