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Facts & Figures  

In 1999, approximately 7,000 patient deaths were linked to errors in the prescribing and administering of medications.
      —Institute of Medicine

One person dies each day, and 1.3 million people are injured each year due to medication errors.
      —Food and Drug Administration

Adverse Drug Effects (ADEs) may rank between the 4th and 6th leading causes of death.
     —Journal of the American Medical Association

The annual cost of drug-related morbidity and mortality is estimated to be $177 billion in the US.
     —Journal of the American Pharmacists Association

“The economic impact of medication-related problems…now rivals that of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.”
     —American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient or consumer.”An analysis of medication errors (1993–1998) revealed that the most common types of errors arose from improper dose administration (40.9%, with 36.4% being an overdose), wrong drug administration (19%), or wrong route of administration (9.5%). Also, the most common causes of errors were performance and knowledge deficits (44%) and communication errors (15.5%).
     —Philips J, Beam S, Brinker A, Holquish C, Honig P, Lee LY, Pamer C. 
         Retrospective analysis of mortalities associated with medication errors.
         American Journal of Health System Pharmacists. Oct. 2001

"At greatest risk for medication-related problems are America’s seniors. While medications are probably the single most important factor in improving the quality of life for seniors, this population remains especially susceptible to medication-related problems.”
     —American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

“Research shows that up to half of children who take medications do not take them properly.”
     —American Academy of Pediatrics

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