New Study Reinforces Importance of Implementing the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that in 2013 and 2014, anticoagulants, diabetes agents, and opioid analgesics were among the most commonly implicated drug classes in emergency department (ED) visits for adverse drug events.

The study also found that an estimated 1 in 250 Americans went to an ED for an adverse drug event each year in 2013 and 2014, with more than a quarter of those visits requiring hospitalization. For Americans age 65 years or older, the numbers were even higher – nearly 1 in 100 – and most frequently involved anticoagulants or diabetes agents. Overall, the most commonly implicated drug classes in ED visits for adverse drug events were anticoagulants, antibiotics, diabetes drugs, and opioid analgesics.

This study reinforces the importance of a coordinated strategy to prevent adverse drug events in the United States. The National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention, released by ODPHP in August 2014,  serves as a framework for federal agencies and non-federal stakeholders to harmonize surveillance resources, share evidence-based prevention tools, incorporate prevention measures into quality programs and payment models, and facilitate research that leads to effective prevention strategies. Implementation of this approach has the potential to improve the quality and safety of health care, reduce health care costs, and improve the health and quality of life of millions of Americans.

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