Medication Safety Starts with a Pharmacist

Medication Safety Starts with a Pharmacist 

Healthcare professionals, particularly pharmacists, are working tirelessly to minimize the harm caused by ADEs (adverse drug events). ADEs particularly affect those who are on multiple medications, commonly the older adults. For this at-risk group the chance of an ADE is about 82%.[1] According to the Lown Institute, in 2018 over 5 million older adults sought medical attention for ADEs.

The American Pharmacists Association and Tabula Rasa HealthCare want you to know: “Medication Safety Starts with a Pharmacist.” Pharmacists are essential members of the patient care team, armed with the knowledge and tools to lower the risk of ADEs through medication safety strategies.

ADEs by the Numbers

According to the CDC, adverse drug events are responsible for:

  • 350,000 hospitalizations per year
  • 1.3 million emergency room visits per year
  • 150,000 premature deaths per year
  • Over $19 billion in hospital fees

According to the Lown Institute, reducing inappropriate or unnecessary medications can:

  • Save as much as $62 billion over the next decade
  • Prevent 750 daily hospitalizations for older adults
  • Potentially lessen disability, cognitive decline, hospitalizations and outpatient visits

Tackling ADEs During COVID-19

If you have chronic illness or you take multiple medications, you are at higher risk for COVID-19 health problems. Every time one more medication is added to your regimen, you are at risk for complications, like side effects and adverse reactions. Even at low doses, there is danger. Engage in a conversation with your pharmacist about your current medications. Your pharmacist will provide the support you need to keep you and your family safe and healthy.

[1] “Predicting risk of adverse drug reactions in older adults.” Lavan, Amanda Hanora, and Paul Gallagher.