Medication Errors Sometimes Fault of Packaging Design

Medication errors are a serious problem that can affect Connecticut hospital patients as well as after they have been discharged. The Institute of Medicine published a report in 1999 that found that around 7,000 people die from medication errors each year, but some observers believe that the total is higher. These types of errors can occur when a patient is given the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage.

In an effort to cut down on medication errors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration created guidelines for drug container closure systems. After issuing draft guidance in 2012, the FDA issued its final guidance on drug container closure systems in April 2016. The final guidance includes revisions that were made after public requests for clarifications.

All of the issues that are covered in the FDA’s guidelines for drug containers concern a drug’s ‘user interface.” The container that a drug is stored in contains crucial information that must be properly interpreted by the patient in order to ensure that the drug is used safely. The FDA guidelines include best practices for reducing medication errors that could be caused by similar names, confusing abbreviations and acronyms. The size of the product and the shape of the product are also addressed in the guidelines.

A drug manufacturer could be found liable for a medication-related injury that is directly linked to poor packaging design. If a hospital or pharmacy was responsible for a medication mistake, a patient may pursue a medical malpractice claim against the institution with the assistance of an attorney as well.