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Adverse drug events (ADEs) are the No. 4 leading cause of death in the world. An Iowa resident could be a victim of an ADE if they receive too much of a drug or have an allergic reaction to it. An ADE can also occur because of a medication error either when a medication is prescribed or if it is used incorrectly. However, many of these events are not reported, and there are many reasons for that.

First, it may be difficult to determine the actual cause of an ADE. This can be especially true if an individual takes more than one medication at a time. Furthermore, some patients aren’t aware of the side effects that a drug has or how to report them. While doctors can report adverse events to the FDA, they are not required to do so. However, patients themselves can report adverse events to the FDA.

In addition to the impact an ADE can have on a patient’s health, it can also have an impact on the economy. It is believed that these incidents constitute 9.5 percent of health care costs. Furthermore, they result in direct costs of $21 million per 100,000 patients. This translates to $444.90 per patient. Social costs for those who experience ADEs total an average of $6,235 per patient.

If an individual experiences a negative reaction to a medication, they may be a victim of medical malpractice. This could be true if a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or too much of a given medication. Malpractice may also occur if a patient does not learn about the potential side effects that could occur. An attorney can review a case to determine if malpractice occurred and how to help a patient obtain compensation for medical bills and other costs.