‘Working Together, We Will Stop the 4th Leading Cause of Death in the United States’ – American Society of Pharmacovigilance (ASP) Establishes March 24 as National Adverse Drug Event Awareness Day, Launches Awareness Campaign

HOUSTON, March 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The American Society of Pharmacovigilance officially announced the establishment of March 24th as National Adverse Drug Event Awareness Day, in a coordinated effort to help spark a national discussion over the ongoing tragedy and staggering healthcare costs directly related to adverse drug events (ADE). As part of its ongoing mission, ASP also launched a national awareness campaign to encourage victims of ADEs to share their stories and begin building community support, while urging healthcare professionals and organizations to talk about how they can champion medication safety.

“We represent the largest coalition of diverse healthcare and business professionals working to fight ADE deaths in the United States,” said Benjamin Brown, ASP’s Executive Director. “While we have some very solid figures on annual ADEs, the grim reality is that a low reporting of these events actually makes it incredibly difficult to know just how widespread this really is in the U.S. In all likelihood, the number of deaths related to ADEs is probably even higher than we know. That’s why one of our goals for this campaign is to highlight the importance of reporting these events. But just as importantly, these are human stories of grief and anguish that are largely preventable – and that prevention starts with awareness and education.” – Sara Rogers, PharmD, BCPS, Director of Clinical Affairs for ASP

ASP: Shining a Light on a Preventable Tragedy

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities related to the detection, assessment, understanding, and prevention of ADEs. The ASP Fourth Cause Campaign urges people to get involved in a number of ways via social media:

  • Patients: Directly share individual ADE stories – #FourthCause, #ADEawareness
  • Organizations: Celebrate efforts to champion medical safety – #ADEchampion
  • Healthcare Professionals: Sharing ways to prevent ADEs – #ADEhero
  • Via Instagram: Share the campaign photo with related stories – @fourth_cause
  • Fundraisers: Host a fundraising event on Facebook to benefit ASP.

Visit http://fourthcause.org/ to download the Fourth Cause Campaign Official Toolkit and ADE Fact Sheet.

Often overlooked, ADEs can be caused by medication errors, adverse drug reactions, allergic reactions, or overdoses, and represent one million emergency department visits, 2.2 million hospital admissions, 3.5 million physician office visits, and $136 billion in U.S. healthcare costs each year. The estimated number of annual ADE deaths is 100,000+, placing it as the 4th leading cause of death for Americans.

The FDA currently uses the Medwatch system to monitor safety and efficacy of drugs and drug therapies. Reporting adverse events and logging these into Medwatch prompts the FDA to evaluate and hold advisory hearings to discuss labeling changes that can be lifesaving, or issue Black Box Warnings in extreme cases to help shield people from preventable ADEs.

For the latest news, updates, and organizational event notifications, follow ASP on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

About the American Society of Pharmacovigilance (ASP)

ASP is a national biomedical and healthcare network with membership open to all healthcare professions. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ASP is dedicated to rapidly and dramatically reducing the high rate of suffering and mortality created by a wide variety of adverse drug events in the United States. ASP represents a unity of different areas of expertise coming together to address and eliminate the fourth leading cause of death in the nation and is the only organization uniformly focused on preventing adverse drug events. Learn more about their ongoing mission at: www.StopADR.org.

Media Contact:

Sara Rogers, Dir. of Clinical Affairs


SOURCE American Society of Pharmacovigilance (ASP)