Section 4D - USA Today - Health and Education
Tuesday October 3
problems - often caused by patients not taking their drugs properly - cost an estimated $75.6 billion in medical bills and cause 119,000 deaths a year, experts said Monday.
Prescription drug-related morbidity and mortality represents a serious medical problem that urgently
requires expert attention," says J. Lyle Bootman, dean of pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tuscon.
Drug-related problems include not following directions or forgetting to take a drug, taking doses that are too high or too low being prescribed the wrong drug, not being prescribed a drug when one is needed and side effects ranging from rashes to death.
The study by Bootman and co-researcher Jeffrey
A. Johnson was presented at an American Medical Association science writers meeting.
Of the $75.6 billion cost, $47.4 billion was a result of 8.8 million drug-related hospitalizations, Bootman says.
That figure represents 28 percent of all hospitalizations.
The most common problem
was patient noncompliance. Bootman described a patient prescribed antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. "She stopped taking her antibiotics after two days and ended up in the hospital with a more serious infection" he said.
Better compliance by patients,
better prescribing habits by doc- tors and increased counseling by pharmacists could help reduce the cost by $45 billion, Bootman says.
e-pill Medication Reminders is Boston based medical device company. Since 1999 e-pill timers, alarm watches, pill boxes with alarms and pill dispensers have helped patients around the world remember to take medications on time (improve medication adherence / patient compliance).