Results 1 to 4 of 4
Fatal Medication Errors Peak at Start of the Month
  1. #1
    stingray is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    .
    Posts
    41

    Default Fatal Medication Errors Peak at Start of the Month

    Another reason to always check out https://www.drugs.com first...

    Fatal Medication Errors Peak at Start of the Month
    Wed Jan 19, 2005 01:45 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Deaths related to medication errors appear to rise sharply during the first few days of each month, suggesting that hectic pharmacies may be at least partly to blame, according to researchers.
    Their study of U.S. death certificates for the years 1979 through 2000 found that deaths attributed to prescription-drug errors showed a 25 percent spike in the first week of each month compared with the last week of the month.

    No other major cause of death showed such a large calendar-related shift, according the report in the January issue of Pharmacotherapy.

    Because other research has documented a glut of prescription medication purchases at the beginning of each month, the new findings point to the possibility that errors at busy pharmacies may be contributing to the monthly spike in prescription-related deaths, according to the study authors.

    The early-month buying spree is believed to reflect the timing of government assistance payments to the elderly and poor. Payments in the form of welfare and Social Security pensions and disability all typically arrive at the start of the month, and many recipients may use these benefits to pay for their medications.

    Pharmacies, faced with a sharp upturn in demand, may be more prone to errors -- from putting incorrect information on drug labels to giving the wrong drug altogether -- and pharmacists may have less time to discuss medication precautions with patients, the study's lead author, Dr. David P. Phillips, told Reuters Health.

    "We know that pharmacists are unusually busy at the beginning of the month," said Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego.

    This study, he noted, couldn't reveal the extent to which pharmacists, patients or doctors may contribute to the monthly rise in fatal prescription errors. But, Phillips said, "It's clear that something has broken down," and it's likely that pharmacy errors are at least partly to blame.

    He and his colleagues considered certain other explanations -- such as the overall higher use of prescriptions leading to more early-month deaths -- and found these could not explain their findings.

    If, for example, prescription use jumped at the start of the month but pharmacy errors did not, then the rise in deaths should be concentrated among low-income patients. But the researchers found no such evidence.

    This study, Phillips and his colleagues note, is the first to document such a monthly spike in deaths related to medication errors. The research is based on two decades' worth of death certificates for more than 47 million Americans; however, the authors point out, it is limited by gaps in detail, including specific information about patients and their pharmacies.

    Smaller, more detailed studies could help better define the reasons for the monthly increase in fatal prescription errors, according to Phillips.

    There are, he noted, some potential ways to address deaths caused by pharmacy errors. Government programs, Phillips said, could spread out payments to the elderly and poor over the course of the month to discourage early-month runs on pharmacies. It might also help, he added, for pharmacists to work fewer hours at month's end, then bump up their hours during the busy first week of the month.

    SOURCE: Pharmacotherapy, January 2005.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-20-2016 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
    DanS is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    15

    Default

    I worked in retail pharmacy for ten years. This information is not shocking. I am surprised there are not more errors. Retail pharmacy proceeds at breakneck speeds every day. You are constantly dealing with patients that want their prescription yesterday. If you increase the number of prescriptions that are filled, of course there will be more errors. I do not understand why a person would rush a health care provider. No one rushes their Dr. Another problem is the pharmacy technicians. They work extremely hard, but are not given enough training to help. I don't want to sound like I am justifying the errors. I'm not. It's just that the system is set up for failure.
    All pharmacists make mistakes. I wish it weren't so.

  3. #3
    cdaus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    20

    Default

    My question is, if pharmacies make that many fatal mistakes every month how do they stay in business and what are the legal repercussions?

    constance

  4. #4
    cdaus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    20

    Default

    I will answer my own question: The good of the many outweigh the misfortune of the few. Such is life. But every attempt to a better solution is a lifesaver. You or your loved ones might become one of those "few".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22