According to WHO, medication errors cause an estimated $1 trillion in direct and indirect healthcare costs each year. These errors occur as a result of system failures within the medication use system; patients, medicines, health professionals and the systems and practices of medication all play a role in medication safety.
To address the global problems of unsafe medication practices and medication errors, WHO plans to launch the Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety with the overall goal to reduce medication errors by 50% in the next five years through increasing global awareness of medication errors, encouraging medication error reporting, coordinating use of database information, facilitating cooperation among stakeholders, and strengthening health systems by engaging key stakeholders in the medication use process. The focus should not be on solely the patient as this approach has yielded poor results in the recent pastbut on the entire system of medication practices.
WSMI was pleased to participate at an international Consultative Meeting on 19-20 April 2016 to refine the scope and strategy of the challenge campaign and is looking forward to working together with WHO and other stakeholders to decrease medication error rates and improve safety of medication practices.