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TheStreet Open House

Epocrates Helped Physicians Avoid 27 Million Drug Errors In 2012

Stocks in this article: EPOC

SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Patient safety is a top priority for all clinicians, yet preventable drug errors are still prevalent throughout the United States. In the past year, Epocrates (Nasdaq:EPOC) has helped clinicians avoid more than 27 million adverse drug events through its popular medical application. This translates to more than 25 percent of Epocrates drug lookups preventing a minor to serious adverse drug event.

Sixty percent of U.S. physicians who use the Epocrates app reported avoiding at least one adverse drug error every week through the company's mobile and online reference products, according to a recent survey 1. Physicians cite the drug Interaction Checker as the most helpful safety feature in the Epocrates app and a primary influence in changing prescribing decisions. The Interaction Checker enables clinicians to quickly enter up to 30 prescription, over-the-counter and alternative medicines to view potential interactions in order of severity. Additional safety features in the app include drug dosing, adverse reactions and news alerts.

"Epocrates delivers invaluable information at my fingertips with access to prescribing information when and where I need it," said Dr. W. Wolfe, Spotsylvania, Va. "The product has made my treatment of patients safer. I would find it more difficult to practice medicine without Epocrates, given the increasing complexities of medicine."

With drug information changing at a rapid pace, it is important for physicians to have information readily available at the point of care. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 35 new prescription medications, one of the highest authorization levels in history. As more drugs join the market, new indications are approved and the average patient is taking multiple medications, physicians need easy access to trusted medication safety information instantly.

"Epocrates is a very valuable tool for me as someone with chronic illness on multiple medications. I need to closely monitor for potential interactions with my physician and can immediately review results together on a smartphone," said John Chaney, Pikeville, Ky.

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