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Medication Errors From Injectable Drugs Harm One Million Inpatients Each Year Adding Billions In Cost, New Study Finds

Stocks in this article: BDX

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study, published online today by the peer-reviewed journal American Health & Drug Benefits , reveals the significant national burden that harmful medication errors, also called preventable adverse drug events (ADEs), associated with injectable medications have on hospitals, patients, and our healthcare system. Results show that preventable ADEs associated with injectable medications cost an average of $600,000 per hospital annually and impact more than 1 million patient hospitalizations each year.

Never before has a study looked specifically at ADEs from injectable medication errors and analyzed the related economic impact on patient hospitalization, cost per hospital, and overall cost to the healthcare industry. Major findings include:

  • Preventable ADEs associated with injectable medications impact more than 1 million hospitalizations each year.
  • Preventable ADEs due to injectable medications cause $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion in annual costs to U.S. healthcare payers. Those costs average $600,000 per hospital each year.
  • The medical professional liability (MPL) cost for inpatient ADEs from injectable medication reaches an industry-wide $300 million to $610 million annually. The MPL costs an average of $72,000 per hospital each year.

"Our study highlights an unnecessary source of wasted healthcare resources and poor outcomes — injectable medication errors that cause harm to patients being treated in a hospital," said study author Betsy Lahue, MPH, Vice President, Health Economics and Outcomes Research, BD. "BD has long been a leader in safe drug delivery practices. New solutions to improve injectable medication processes are needed to minimize the burden on payers and reduce the risk for both the patient and the healthcare setting."

Commissioned by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX) in partnership with Milliman Inc., the study was compiled from databases that contained information on medication error, inpatient medication use, and medical costs. The study applied the findings of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study on adverse events, and it used MPL databases and insurance rate information.

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