Medication errors doubled in a 12-year period included in a recent study, leading to calls for clearer packaging and more consultation among patients, doctors and pharmacists. Most of the errors consisted of giving the wrong medication or an incorrect dose of the right medication.
“Drug manufacturers and pharmacists have a role to play when it comes to reducing medication errors,” said Henry Spiller, a co-author of the study, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “There is room for improvement in product packaging and labeling. Dosing instructions could be made clearer, especially for patients and caregivers with limited literacy or numeracy.”
The study found that medication errors rose from 1.09 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 2.28 in 2012. The errors resulted in serious outcomes and affected all age groups, although medication errors for children younger than six decreased after 2005, thanks to a decline in the use of cough and cold medicines.