Close to 40% of all medication error-related liability claims that were analyzed as part of a recent study involved opioids and anticoagulants.
Opioids were found to be involved in more liability claims involving medication errors than any other drug, accounting for 24% of all liability claims. Anticoagulants followed at a close second with 16% of all claims involving medications. According to the report, 42% of medication errors occurred in a clinical setting, while 30% of these errors ultimately resulted in a patient fatality.
In the study, researchers analyzed more than 10,000 liability claims filed against medical liability insurance companies between 2000 and 2016. Overall, they found that medical malpractice claims related to medication errors were the fourth leading cause of claims. The other three leading causes were diagnosis-related errors, surgery errors, and errors involved in medical management. Rounding off the top five root causes of medical liability claims were obstetrics-related claims.