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1.5 Million Americans Affected by Prescription Errors Annually

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According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 1.5 million Americans suffer illness, injury or death annually because of mistakes made in prescribing, dispensing and taking prescription drugs.

The report states that statistically, a patient will be subjected to a medication error once a day during their stay on average. That means that for every day one person does not suffer from a medication error one other person suffers from two, again on average.

To reduce medication errors, IOM recommended improving communication between patients and providers, enhancing the resources to support consumer-oriented drug information and medication self-management, increasing access to patient information by clinicians and consumers, improving drug product naming, labeling, and packaging, establishing standards for drug-related health information technologies, and providing incentives for the adoption of practices and technologies that reduce medication errors.