Assessment of DoD Wounded Warrior Matters: Managing Risks of Multiple Medications
OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE) ALEXANDRIA VA
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During the fieldwork for the assessment of Wounded Warrior programs, we identified challenges pertaining to medication management practices. This follow-on assessment focused on DoD and Service policies and programs intended to manage the risks associated with Wounded Warriors who were prescribed multiple medications during the course of their treatment and recovery. Specifically, we examined the policies related to reducing adverse drug events such as unanticipated side effects, decreased drug effectiveness, accidental overdose, and death. We also examined the procedures related to disposing of medications that are expired or no longer needed for treatment. Misuse of unneeded medications can result in similar adverse drug events. We found that the DoD did not have overarching policies and procedures to ensure consistent medication management and reconciliation practices in the Wounded Warrior population. The Services have adopted policies at various command levels however, there is wide variance across the Services in the policies and standards for medication reconciliation. Additionally, Wounded Warriors did not have a reliable, safe, accessible, and accountable method to dispose of medications that were no longer needed for treatment. As a result, Wounded Warriors may be at risk for overdose or misuse of unneeded medications that could result in unnecessary hospitalization and death.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Weapons Effects (Biological)
- Military Forces and Organizations