A study published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2009 found that up to 70 percent of medication errors reported in the United States involved errors made while prescribing. Prescribing errors can have serious or even fatal consequences for patients, and the FDA is taking steps to reduce the likelihood of prescription errors with a proposal for a new federal register to make prescribing information for all drugs easy for physicians to access.
On December 18, the FDA published a proposal which would require all drug manufacturers to register prescribing information with a new national database. Right now, physicians rely on paper prescribing guides issued by these companies, which can be difficult to maintain, keep current, and access. Because of this, it is possible for physicians to prescribe drugs without being aware of recent changes in dosing recommendations, known side effects, or contraindications.
According to the FDA, “The paper form of the prescribing information may not contain the most current information because it may have been printed and distributed prior to more recent labeling changes, while the electronic form of prescribing information can be updated in real-time. FDA is taking this action to ensure that the most current prescribing information for prescription drugs will be available and readily accessible to health care professionals at the time of clinical decision making and dispensing.”
With this new rule, all prescribing information issued by drug makers would reside on the FDA’s labeling repository website with the requirement that manufacturers update this data any time drug labels change. Drug makers would also be required to regularly review this information to ensure accuracy. The FDA will accept public comments on this proposed new policy until March 18, 2015.
Every year, thousands of Americans suffer serious injury or even wrongful death due to prescribing errors. If you believe you or your loved one was injured or killed due to a prescription error, you could be entitled to compensation for your distress and other damages. For more information on prescription error lawsuits, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.