Aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the findings confirm the need for the governor’s health-care reform proposal. Some changes recommended by the panel – including getting all physicians and pharmacies to electronically transmit prescriptions – are part of the plan. “It’s really an outrage that actions, such as those recommended by the panel, have not already been taken,” said former San Francisco state Sen. Jackie Speier, who sponsored the bill establishing the panel for the California Pharmacists Association. “The recommendations will save the lives of thousands of Californians and should be incorporated into legislation without delay.” Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is sponsoring a bill that would require pharmacies to issue labels in the patient’s language and regulate the size of printing on pill bottles. The governor also has signed an executive order to complete electronic health data exchanges in the next decade, aides said. “No one should suffer from errors in the improper prescribing, dispensing or use of medication, or suffer from unnecessary health care-acquired infections,” said Kim Belshe, secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency. Medication errors contribute to the illness or death of 150,000 Californians every year and cost more than $17 billion, according to a yearlong study released Wednesday. The state Medication Errors Panel found the risk of medication errors in everything from prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, using and monitoring. And the panel – which held a dozen hearings with doctors, pharmacists, government regulators and others – issued a dozen recommendations for improving medication usage. Recommendations include more informative labeling on prescription bottles, better consumer education, better training for pharmacy workers and bolstered government oversight. firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 447-9302160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!