Weekly News Roundup: February 1, 2019


Nearly half of all Americans use at least one prescription drug, and with high prescription usage comes medication-related problems. More than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events occur each year, costing more than $177 billion in medication-related morbidity and mortality.

This week’s news roundup covers medication-related patient safety news including a case for better after-hours palliative care, a success story featuring a significant cost of care reduction at Allina Health, a day in the life of a medication safety officer, and the terrifying story of an Ohio physician who allegedly ordered 28 people potentially fatal doses of opioid painkillers.

How Did a Doctor Allegedly Order Fatal Doses of Painkillers Connected to 28 Deaths?

Christine Allison and her husband, Troy, were watching television in their Columbus, Ohio home last July when his breathing became erratic. She dialed paramedics and fetched her husband a paper bag to calm him while they waited. “I’ll see you in a minute,” she said in those frantic moments when the ambulance arrived. Read More

Medication Therapy Management Reduces Total Cost of Care

“The data derived from Allina Health showed the value, in a very strong way, of the pharmacist participating in the care team.” – Ann Byre, PharmD Vice President, Pharmacy Services Allina Health Nearly half of all Americans use at least one prescription drug, and 11.9 percent take five or more prescription drugs, demonstrating that prescription medication use is widespread and increasingly complex. Read More

Better Out-of-Hours Palliative Care Needed

A better understanding of risks and causes of harm for out of hours palliative care is urgently needed to ensure patient safety, finds a study carried out by researchers at Cardiff University. Read More

Telemedicine Regulations Tighten Restrictions on Medication Abortion

Michigan is the latest state to pass a ban on using telemedicine to prescribe abortion-inducing medication, a relatively small move with broader implications in the incremental fight to undo Roe v. Wade. The ban, if signed into law, will extend one already in place in Michigan, one of 19 states that require an abortion provider and patient be physically together when the provider prescribes the medication. Read More

A Day in the Life of a Medication Safety Officer

Rajesh Jethwa details a typical day at Mid Essex Hospital NHS trust as a medication safety officer. Read More