Safest Drug was founded in response to the glaring statistics associated with medication use and medication-related negative health outcomes in the United States, most of which are considered preventable. Below is a sample of those statistics.
- Nearly 4 billion retail prescriptions were filled in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Over 2 million adverse event reports were submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019. More than 150,000 of those reports were associated with a medication death.
- Over 100,000 people have been estimated to die as the result of a pharmaceutical drug exposure every year.
- About 15,000 people died as the result of a prescription drug opioid in 2018.
- Over 70% of physician office visits involve medication or drug therapy.
Medication Use in Vulnerable Groups
- In one year, an estimated 75,000 children (18 years old or younger) have been seen at emergency departments for unintentional “medication poisonings”.
- Older adults, 65 years of age and older, are 3 times more likely than younger patients to be seen at emergency departments for an adverse drug reaction and 7 times more likely to be hospitalized.
- Veterans on 5 or more psychotropic drugs faced a nearly “four-fold” increase in the rate of drug/alcohol overdoses and their rates of suicidal behaviors, per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Black patients suffering from mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, are more likely to be on antipsychotic medication, even in light of the evidence which associates those medications with long-term negative effects and issues with effectiveness.
- Nearly 1 in 12 children taking more than one medication may face the risk of adverse drug reactions due to potential drug-to-drug interactions.
- Within Asian population segments, researchers have identified certain groups may be at increased risk of adverse drug reactions based on their genetic makeup.
Cost of Medication Harm
- The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates over 1 million people are seen in a hospital emergency room (ER) due to an adverse drug reaction with the average cost of an ER visit costing over $1,300.
- In 2016, over $400 billion was spent buying prescription drugs but over $500 billion was spent on treating adverse drug events.
- Individuals facing significant, long-term and irreversible drug-induced health issues lose wages and may seek disability assistance. They may also require more healthcare, including counseling services to deal with the trauma of their condition and poorer health.
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