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New Report: Dangerous Drug Side Effects and Deaths Doubled Since 1998... Seniors Hit Hardest

PCMA: Time to Require E-Prescribing in Medicare

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report that finds dangerous drug side effects and deaths - particularly among seniors - have more than doubled since 1998 underscores the urgency for Congress to act now to require electronic (e) prescribing in Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

"This study found that seniors are disproportionately affected by serious adverse drug events, which underscores why we need to require e-prescribing in Medicare immediately. Requiring e-prescribing in Medicare could prevent up to 1.9 million medication errors over the next decade," said PCMA President & CEO Mark Merritt.

The report, published in this week's issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, analyzed serious adverse drug events received by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between January 1998 and December 2005, including death, disability and hospitalizations. The study found 467,809 such occurrences during the period studied, with the number of deaths due to drugs spiking from 5,519 to 15,107.

PCMA recently released a study from the Gorman Health Group that found requiring e-prescribing in Medicare could prevent up to 1.9 million medication errors over the next decade. E-prescribing technology helps consumers avoid adverse drug events by providing physicians with a comprehensive patient medication history and automatic electronic safety alerts before the prescription is sent to the pharmacy.

"By providing physicians with real-time safety alerts and their patients' medication history, e-prescribing prevents dangerous drug-to-drug interactions and doctor shopping," added Merritt.

PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 210 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D.

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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