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FDA Institutes “Safe Use Initiative” Program

November 28th, 2009

Each year, mistakes in prescribing, filling or taking medications send some four million Americans to the emergency room. In an effort to curb this serious problem the Food and Drug Administration is instituting a program called the Safe Use Initiative. The program will include public meetings where doctors, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies and patients will gather to discuss the issues surrounding pharmaceutical error and to search for solutions.

One of the biggest contributors to medication error is miscommunication. Pharmacists misread doctor’s prescription instructions. Patients fail to tell doctors about prescription or over-the-counter medications they’re currently taking, which leads to adverse drug interactions. And pharmacists neglect to provide patients with adequate instructions on how to take the medications they dispense.

In one study, 70 percent of the patients surveyed were found to be taking medications they had not told their doctors about. Patients using multiple pharmacies are even more prone to prescription errors because many pharmacies do not share their prescription databases. The goal of the FDA initiative is to find ways to promote greater coordination and sharing of information between manufacturers, doctors, pharmacies and patients. Doing so will help prevent problems with adverse drug interactions, incorrect dosing, and over- or under-medication.

According to a survey of doctors, there are three steps a patient should take to help prevent medication errors. First, since many patients visit specialists in addition to their primary care physician, it’s imperative that their primary physician is aware of all the medications being prescribed to them. Second, doctors recommend that patients fill all their prescriptions at just one pharmacy, which allows their pharmacist to look for combinations that might lead to adverse interactions. Finally, patients should ask questions of both their doctors and pharmacists to ensure they fully understand what, why, when and how much they should be taking.

Patients can and should take steps to ensure their own safety and well-being regarding the medications they take. But there are many aspects of the prescription process over which patients have no control. Even seemingly minor medical or pharmaceutical errors can pose grave consequences to patients and their loved ones. Prescription medications are heavily regulated, and for good reason. Medications must be administered with the utmost of care. Nevertheless, accidents occur all too often.

The attorneys at Pharmacy-Mistake.com have a long record of successfully representing victims of medical and pharmaceutical error. If you, or someone you know, have been injured because of being prescribed the wrong medicine, or other medical error, please contact us at Pharmacy-Mistake.com for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.

 
     
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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

 
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