Medication Error Law Firm
The Hamilton Drug Error Attorneys
The lawyers and Hamilton & Associates regularly handle catastrophic injury and death cases resulting from medication mistakes. We have a large population of drug experts to draw support and have developed specialized knowledge and experience with drug malpractice cases. We present this page to assist drug error victims and their families with research into their own experiences. We also encourage you to visit the pages of this website dedicated to particular errors. Last, please look to the videos we present as they are a valuable asset to your learning.
How Common are Drug Errors?
Prescription drug use has increased exponentially in the United States of America. About 29% of adults are on five or more medications and 82% on at least one medication. Due to this high volume of drug dispensing, drug safety is of great importance.
The amount of prescriptions dispensed every day continues to climb. In 2009, over three billion medications were dispensed, with approximately four errors every day per 250 prescriptions filled.9 Therefore, more than 51 million dispensing errors occur every year.  Dispensing errors can result from the miscalculation of the correct dose, failure to identify drug interactions, warnings or contraindications. In addition, human error is also a common component. A lack of judgment or attention may result in the dispensing of the incorrect medication, dosage or dosage form.
Safety issues related to medications are known as adverse drug events (ADEs). An ADE is described as an unsafe or undesirable event following exposure to medication. One type of ADE, a medication error, is an adverse event that involves preventable incidents in the prescribing, dispensing or consumption of medication while in the hands of a patient, caregiver or health care professional. An ADE or medication error can occur in any heath setting whether in the hospital, pharmacy, out-patient clinic or at home. Technology has revolutionized medications and established new indications for older medications, producing many new health benefits. Innovation has helped prevent many medication errors but it also brings new complexity that may increase the risk of error.
Medication errors each year cause 500,000 emergency room (ER visits) and 100,000 hospitalizations. It is projected by the Institute of Medicine that about 50% of out-patient ADE costs could be preventable. Misdiagnosis, a very simple mistake, is an under-recognized medical error. Research from both the British Medical Journal (BMJ) of Quality and Safety and Harvard find it to be one of the most common errors with the most potential of causing harm or death. , According to BMJ, the frequency of misdiagnosis errors is higher in the out-patient setting, but more likely to result in death if in-patient.