Less than 1 percent of outpatients who received medication in 2002 were prescribed a medication that violated a prescription drug’s black box warning, according to a study in the February 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
"Adverse drug events (ADEs) are believed to be among the leading causes of mortality in the United States, with an estimated 100,000 deaths per year," according to background information in the article. However, there is little U.S. data on the occurrence of potentially dangerous drug-drug, drug-laboratory, and drug-disease interactions in outpatients. Black box warnings are separate, highlighted messages on drug labels that were developed by the Food and Drug Administration to help physicians avoid serious ADEs.
Karen E. Lasser, M.D., M.P.H., of Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues, examined data from 51 outpatient practices to see how often physicians prescribed drugs in violation of black box warnings. The researchers analyzed electronic health records of 324,548 outpatients who received at least one prescription between January 1 and December 31, 2002.
Alison Harris | EurekAlert!
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