According to the CDC website, four medications, used alone or together, accounted for two–thirds of the emergency hospitalizations:
- 33 percent, or 33,171 emergency hospitalizations, involved warfarin, a medication used to prevent blood clots.
- 14 percent involved insulins. Insulin injections are used to control blood sugar in people who have diabetes.
- 13 percent involved antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin or clopidogrel, which prevent platelets, or pieces of blood cells from clumping together to start a clot.
- 11 percent involved diabetes medications that are taken by mouth, called oral hypoglycemic agents.
It is estimated that:
- 82% of American adults take at least one medication and 29% take five or more ;
- 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations are due to ADEs annually ;
- $3.5 billion is spent on extra medical costs of ADEs annually ;
- At least 40% of costs of ambulatory (non-hospital settings) ADEs are estimated to be preventable .
- Development of new medications
- Discovery of new uses for older medications
- Aging American population
- Increase in the use of medications for disease prevention
- Increased coverage for prescription medications
For more on this topic, visit the CDC Medication Safety Program.