Medical Expert Witness On Medication Errors Part 4

In Preventable Medical Errors, medical expert witness Perry Hookman, M.D., writes that cancer outpatient medication errors may be more common than previously thought. As an example Dentzer states that:

During congressional hearings in 2004 that unleashed a torrent of this type of coverage, a safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), David Graham, singled out five drugs on the market whose safety should be “seriously looked at. Some newspaper reports the next day featured graphic spreads on the “Five Most Dangerous Drugs” – the acne drug isotretinoin, the weight-loss drug sibutramine, the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor valdecoxib, the lipid-lowering drug rosuvastatin, and the asthma drug salmeterol. Four years later, all but one of these drugs (valdecoxib) are still on the market, although black-box warnings were strengthened or added for most and a new safety-oriented distribution system was created for isotretinoin.

Few news reports at the time noted that Graham’s list was just that – his own personal list of worrisome drugs, not the FDA’s or anyone else’s. Web sites such as Public Citizen’s feature literally hundreds of concerns about dozens of drugs. But, we all know that almost no drug on the market is without risk.