Medisafe added a new feature to its medication management platform to alert users of possible drug-to-drug interactions that may cause unexpected side effects and/or alter the way the medications perform. The feature also includes disclosures when medications have other lifestyle implications, such as interactions with specific foods or alcohol.
The Medisafe platform distinguishes between interactions based on their level of health risk using a four-point scale ("minor," "moderate," "major" and "severe"), taking a triaged approach to its communications accordingly.
After Medisafe users add a medication that has a known "severe" or "major" interaction with another medication in their virtual pillbox, they receive an alert in the app's Updates section (feed) advising them of the potential dangers and to consult their treating physician immediately. Also, all interactions, from "minor" and "severe," as well as lifestyle, appear on a drug's "med info" screen. Users can consult this screen at any time, but they will not receive a proactive alert. Additionally, users will soon be able to look up the known interactions for any medication using Medisafe's soon-to-be-launched "Interaction Checker."
"Dangerous drug-to-drug interactions are preventing people trying to follow their prescribed regimens from getting the expected benefit, sending them to the hospital unnecessarily, or even causing premature deaths," Jon Michaeli, executive vice president of business development and marketing at Medisafe, said in a statement. "What is truly exciting is that our platform has all the requisite data, so we are in a unique position to catch these interactions early on, keeping patients out of harm's way and continuing their path to better health. And in many cases, we will help close the loop with doctors and care managers in their constant effort to maintain accurate medication records for their patients."
Medisafe's new drug interaction feature is initially available for iOS users.
In a recent study of 225 U.S. drug stores, over 50% of tested pharmacies dispensed dangerous drug pairs without warning patients of risks, revealing an industry-wide trend of misinformed patients. Annually, medication errors lead to an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths. Of this total, an estimated 7,000 deaths occur due to adverse drug reactions.