Drug Interactions: Becoming a Serious Health Concern?

Experienced Malpractice Attorneys Helping Victims of Drug Interactions

Today, medical and pharmaceutical research is something that consumers tend to take for granted. Consumers rely on the medications and procedures to improve, or even maintain, their health, and they assume that these are safe, reliable, and effective. Because medications are so easy to come by – and physicians are more than happy to hand out prescriptions without testing – the number of dangerous interactions between prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs is on the rise. The risk of drugs interacting with one another is severe and can lead to negative (and potentially deadly) side-effects. In fact, drug interactions account for a large number of deaths and injuries each year in the United States.

The Statistics

It is estimated that 34,000 individuals die each year in automobile accidents, while more than two million are injured. But, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the number of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are responsible for three times more than the number of car accidents. In fact, the FDA estimates that 100,000 people die from ADRs in the United States, and more than two million are injured from complications.

Prescription Drugs Are Becoming Part of Consumers’ Lifestyle

Most consumers have at least one prescription medication that they take, and there are some who take multiple prescription and over-the-counter medications on a daily basis. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 82 percent of the United States population takes one type of medication, and there are at least 30 percent who take five on a daily basis. Also, the CDC estimates that there are more than 700,000 individuals who visit hospitals due to dangerous interactions each year, while more than 120,000 of those had to be hospitalized.

The Reason for an Increase in ADRs

There are several reasons for why there has been an increase in ADRs over the past few years. Drug companies are developing new prescription medications each year and, while they are required to study the drugs and provide evidence that they are safe and effective, there is not nearly enough oversight. Also, consumers as a whole are becoming more reliant on prescription and over-the-counter medications for ailments that were not treated with medications in the past. As more people rely on medications, the number of ADRs is on the rise.

There are three situations in which drugs can interact:

  1. Drugs interacting with other drugs
  2. Drug interacting with foods
  3. Drugs interacting with physiological or medical conditions

Also, there are other reasons why the number of ADRs has increased over the past few years, such as:

  1. Rushed Physicians – Physicians are taking on more patients these days than they have in the past. They spend less time with each patient, and some even double book appointments – leaving five to 10 minutes to discuss issues with their patients. This lack of attention leads to inattention when it comes to a patient’s symptoms, medical history, or even asking about current medications taken before prescribing another.
  2. Prescription Errors – Whether it is an error on the physician’s end or on the part of the pharmacy, some patients are receiving the wrong medication, wrong dosage, or simply do not understand how to properly take their medications. This can lead to dangerous interactions – especially if two medications cannot be taken within the same hour, for instance.

Contact the Experts at Carey, Danis & Lowe Today

If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury because of a dangerous drug interaction or side-effect, the accident could be the result of medical negligence. Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law today for a free case evaluation. Schedule your consultation now by calling 877-678-3400, or filling out our online contact form with your legal questions.