Report Reveals Dramatic Increase in Medication Errors Involving Drugs with Names that Look or Sound Alike

The 8th annual national MEDMARX(R) Data Report released last month by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) revealed that more than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike. USP’s review revealed a near doubling since 2004 of the pairs of drug names that look or sound alike, from 1,750 pairs to 3,170 pairs.

According to findings in the MEDMARX report, 1.4% of the errors resulted in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths. Medication errors are often the basis of medical malpractice cases.… Read the rest

Results of Survey of Practicing Doctors Renew Doubts Regarding the Medical Profession’s Ability to Regulate Itself

A survey of a national random sample of practicing doctors found that nearly half of all U.S. doctors fail to report incompetent or unethical colleagues, even though they agree that such mistakes should be reported. More specifically, while 96% of respondents said doctors should always report impaired or incompetent colleagues, only 55% of those with direct personal knowledge of such doctors in the past three years said they always did so. And while 93% of respondents said doctors should always alert authorities when they observe serious medical errors, only 54% of those who had such information in the past three … Read the rest