U.S. GAO seeks more info on drug errors

The General Accounting Office is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO’s mission is to help the Congress oversee federal programs and operations to assure accountability to the American people.

A two-year study by the U.S. GAO has concluded that adverse drug events, complications or even deaths due to mistakes in the prescribing or use of drugs, is a serious problem, but is impossible to measure because of a lack of information.

Janet Heinrich of the General Accounting Office told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Tuesday that “The existing research on adverse drug events makes clear that many patients experience negative outcomes from drug therapy.” She went on to say that “there is little precise information about the rate at which adverse drug events occur and their costs.”

It was noted that with so many drugs being prescribed in the United States and with so many new drugs on the market, “even a very low rate of adverse drug events can result in a large number of serious injuries and deaths.”

According to Heinrich, it is estimated that anywhere from a quarter to a half of all adverse drug events among hospital patients are a consequence of medication errors that presumably could be prevented.

The GAO report cited several proposed ways to address the problem, including mandated changes to packaging to prevent drugs from being mistaken for one another and to regulate dosing; having physicians enter prescriptions on computer instead of in writing; and using a single name for drugs rather than generic and brand designations.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is looking for ways to address the crisis of mass numbers of people dying from drugs and medical error. How about this: STOP TAKING DRUGS for every tiny sniffle, ache, pain, and symptom. How about not trying to medically stimulate or suppress our existence and for once permit our bodies the opportunity to become acquainted with their environment, comprehend that environment, and learn to adapt to that environment so that we may be free to achieve our maximum potential as was intended in the first place.

planetc1.com-news @ 6:44 am | Article ID: 949506274