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Sunday 4 March 2018

22,000 people die every year in England as a result of medical errors. How many more die from pharmaceutical drugs that are NOT given in error?

It  has been estimated that up to 22,000 people die every year in England alone because of an error when prescribing or dispensing their medication.

Prevalence and Economic Burden of Medication Errors in the NHS in England. Report commissioned by the Policy Research Unit in Economics Evaluation of Health and Care Interventions, 2018

Not a matter that most doctors, the NHS, the government or the mainstream news media would want us to know, but reported in more honest media sources such as the magazine 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'.  The report stated that there were about 237 million medication mistakes happening each  year, although about 72% per cent of these were considered "harmless". This means that 26% have caused serious harm or even death. It was estimated that 66 million "clinically significant" errors happen every year and that these result in anything from 1,700 to 22,303 deaths. The report came to several conclusions:
  • Older people, prescribed multiple drugs in care homes, are the most vulnerable.
  • An 'error' is most likely in the prescribing of a heart drug, such as an anti-coagulant or an anti-platelet drug, or painkillers such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs). 
  • Around a third of all hospital admissions are due to an adverse reaction to one of these drugs, and gastrointestinal bleeds from the drugs are responsible for half of all the deaths being recorded.
The WDDTY article also says that the human cost is matched by the financial cost. The estimate is that it costs the UK taxpayer about £98.5 m every year in compensation claims, but that "this could be a gross underestimation and is based on the lowest number of cases causing permanent harm or death. If the highest estimate was used, pay-outs would be nearer to £2bn a year". Nor does this account to the money spent on unnecessary and avoidable hospital admissions.

Yet this study is looking ONLY at the consequences of medical MISTAKES!

It does NOT include the deaths, or the serious illnesses and diseases that pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are known to cause, when they are prescribed for patients appropriately!

And these figures are for England alone. They do not cover the rest of the UK. Or the rest of Europe. Or the USA and Canada. Or Australia and New Zealand. Or the rest of the world whose health care is dominated by conventional drug-based medicine!

All of which means that the conventional medical establishment, principally the pharmaceutical industry, has become one of the main killers in the world today. It is more reasons for all of us to avoiding visits to the doctor, not just because (s)he might make a mistake, but because conventional medicine is inherently unsafe.

Post Script
The day after writing this blog it was reported that the UK government will be compensating GP's with £30 million of public money to cover rises to their indemnity insurance for another year.

So if doctors do make mistakes in treating us, it is not the doctors, or their insurance that will pay compensation for the damage caused to patients, it is you and me - the general taxpayer.

I have blogged about this on several occasions

What happens when doctors harm patients?
What happens when doctors harm patients? (2)
Indemnity. What happens when doctors harm patients? (3)

I am now looking for car insurance that does not hold the account holder responsible for accidents, and home insurance that .......... well, you know what I mean. But it would seem that different rules apply for the conventional medical establishment!