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Adverse drug events, the world’s fourth leading cause of death

Every year across the world, more than 100,000 people are hospitalized for adverse drug events. These refer to any medication-related injury, such as injuries due to allergic reactions, overdoses and medicine errors. New York residents should know that among adults in this country, most ADEs are caused by anticoagulants, antibiotics, diabetes medication and opioids.

Diabetes patients treated with canagliflozin are most susceptible to ADEs. In August 2018, the FDA warned against the increased risk for rare infections that patients experience when taking canagliflozin and other sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors. In fact, legal proceedings have started against the marketer of canagliflozin, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, because the medication raises the risk for bone fractures and leads to many patients getting lower-limb amputations.

ADEs are the fourth biggest cause of death in the entire world. Even worse, the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that ADEs, together with medication errors, are an underreported phenomenon. The errors that lead to an ADE include mistakes at the prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, adherence and monitoring stages.

While doctors and nurses have ADE scorecards to keep track of the events and find patterns in side effects, one issue is that many patients do not visit their doctor unless their side effects become severe. Another is how hard it is to determine the cause of an ADE when patients are taking multiple medications.

Medication errors can form the basis for a medical malpractice claim. Therefore, a malpractice victim may want to seek legal counsel. With the help of medical experts and investigators, a lawyer could evaluate a case and find out just how the doctor was being negligent. The victim can leave all settlement negotiations to the lawyer and proceed to a trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved.

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