Documentation of study medication dispensing in a prospective large randomized clinical trial: experiences from the ARISTOTLE Trial.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: In ARISTOTLE, apixaban resulted in a 21% reduction in stroke, a 31% reduction in major bleeding, and an 11% reduction in death. However, approval of apixaban was delayed to investigate a statement in the clinical study report that "7.3% of subjects in the apixaban group and 1.2% of subjects in the warfarin group received, at some point during the study, a container of the wrong type." METHODS: Rates of study medication dispensing error were characterized through reviews of study medication container tear-off labels in 6,520 participants from randomly selected study sites. The potential effect of dispensing errors on study outcomes was statistically simulated in sensitivity analyses in the overall population. RESULTS: The rate of medication dispensing error resulting in treatment error was 0.04%. Rates of participants receiving at least 1 incorrect container were 1.04% (34/3,273) in the apixaban group and 0.77% (25/3,247) in the warfarin group. Most of the originally reported errors were data entry errors in which the correct medication container was dispensed but the wrong container number was entered into the case report form. Sensitivity simulations in the overall trial population showed no meaningful effect of medication dispensing error on the main efficacy and safety outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of medication dispensing error were low and balanced between treatment groups. The initially reported dispensing error rate was the result of data recording and data management errors and not true medication dispensing errors. These analyses confirm the previously reported results of ARISTOTLE.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Alexander, JH; Levy, E; Lawrence, J; Hanna, M; Waclawski, AP; Wang, J; Califf, RM; Wallentin, L; Granger, CB

Published Date

  • September 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 166 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 559 - 565

PubMed ID

  • 24016507

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24016507

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6744

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8703

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.05.025


  • eng