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HIV patients might benefit from pharmacy changes

Researchers say that victims of diseases like HIV could fare better if pharmacies in North Carolina and around the country simply improve their monitoring standards. Experts claim that the study, which was conducted between 2011 and 2013, was one of the largest assessments to examine how additional pharmacy oversight might result in superior recovery outcomes. Proponents also suggest new practices may lead to lowered care costs and fewer medication errors.

Prior research had already demonstrated that HIV patients were at risk of a number of medication errors. Common problems included incorrect dosage administration and antiretroviral treatments that lacked efficacy. HIV patients are known to be susceptible to treatment failure when they miss doses, but the researchers claim that monitoring patients when they are admitted and during every day of their hospital stay decreases such errors by nearly 75 percent.

As HIV patients age, their medication needs often grow more complicated. According to the research, drug interactions were the most prevalent form of mistake, but intervening by changing pharmacist monitoring practices decreased the error rate. Some patients, such as those being given protease inhibitors or suffering from renal dysfunction, were discovered to be more likely to suffer from errors because their drug regimens depended on dosing adjustments or were more prone to negative interactions.

Being administered improper medical treatments could result in negative long-term outcomes for victims. Patients who suffer from ongoing diseases or chronic conditions may have to assume far higher care costs when they develop new health problems after receiving treatments that don't work. Some may even sustain serious personal injuries when the drugs they're taking interact improperly. Although hospitals and caregivers may deny that they were at fault in such incidents, an attorney who has experience in cases involving these types of medical errors will endeavor to demonstrate otherwise.

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