Amidst Concerns about Errors and Adverse Drug Reactions, St. Louis
College of Pharmacy Forum Examines Medication Safety
ST. LOUIS – The safe use and distribution of pharmaceuticals is an important issue for patients and health care professionals. Errors involving medicine have become far too common as Americans of all ages rely on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Today, more than ever, there is a tremendous need to eliminate errors involving medicine and reduce adverse drug effects.
At St. Louis College of Pharmacy, noted experts will examine trends and issues related to errors and adverse drug effects at the 3rd Annual Medication Safety Forum on Saturday, Oct. 9 at Whelpley Auditorium, which is located on campus. The forum begins at 8 a.m. and is free and open to the public.
Keynote speaker Kathleen Shinn, whose daughter Alyssa died in 2007 after receiving a lethal overdose of zinc while in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Nevada hospital, will share her experience. A premature infant, Alyssa was administered a dose of zinc 1,000 times larger than her physician ordered.
Other speakers include: Becky Miller, executive director, Missouri center for Patient Safety; Paul Milligan, clinical lead, BJC HealthCare’s center for Clinical Excellence; John Gardella, vice president for clinical improvement, Novant Health (Charlotte, N.C. market); Edward Davidson, assistant professor of clinical internal medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and partner, Insight Therapeutics; and Lucinda Maine, executive vice president, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
As prescription medication use increases, there are growing concerns about errors and adverse reactions. In 2007, a report by the Institute for Safe Medicine Practice (ISMP) revealed that at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur in the United States each year; these costly and sometimes fatal incidents include cases of drug mix-ups and unintentional overdoses. The ISMP also estimated that there were more than 700,000 complications from medications annually.
Today, the ISMP notes that data is becoming increasingly difficult to track because measuring medication errors relies on voluntary reporting of errors and near-miss events, and that studies show even in good systems, voluntary reporting only captures the “tip of the iceberg.”
Click here for additional information about the forum.
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in the nation. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. More than 1,200 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis region are alumni.
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