FDA initiative announced to reduce preventable harm from medication

FDA announced the Safe Use Initiative, a program aimed at reducing the likelihood of preventable harm from medication use.

FDA announced the Safe Use Initiative, a program aimed at reducing the likelihood of preventable harm from medication use.

“Too many people suffer unnecessary injuries from avoidable medication misuse, errors and other problems. The FDA is launching the Safe Use Initiative to develop targeted solutions for reducing these injuries,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD.

Millions of people are harmed every year from inappropriate medication use. Many injuries occur as a result of incomplete access to information about a drug, a patient or the patient’s condition.

Other preventable sources of harm include unintentional misuse of medications, medication abuse, and attempts at self-harm. Unintended exposure to prescription medications such as opioid drugs can cause harm, even death, in a single dose, if taken by someone other than the patient who was prescribed the medication.“This initiative by the FDA to reduce preventable harm from medication use is very important,” said Formulary editorial advisory board member Robert A. Quercia, MS, RPh, clinical pharmacy manager, Department of Pharmacy Services, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT.

“Medication safety is a very high priority in healthcare systems today,” Quercia said. “At Hartford, we have a special committee just devoted to medication safety.”