International Pharmaceutical Federation

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Global action on patient safety

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global organisation representing over four million pharmacists worldwide.
The inclusion of patient safety in this Assembly’s discussions is an important step towards increased political commitment. We witnessed growing interest in this important area from Member States at the recent Patient Safety Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At this summit, we were pleased to present pharmacists’ medication safety strategies for various settings, such as in communities and hospitals.
FIP is working with the WHO and healthcare professional organisations on the implementation of the 3rd Global Patient Safety Challenge. We were pleased to contribute to the WHO’s patient engagement tools, such as “5 Moments for medication safety”. We encourage you to disseminate and use these tools according to your local needs. We also encourage national associations of pharmacists to be fully engaged with you in the development of patient safety policies within broader universal health coverage policies and plans.
Pharmacists are the experts in medicines. We can ensure safety throughout the medication process, from the moment a medicine reaches the patient, through administration, treatment monitoring and follow up, to safe disposal.
In many countries, pharmacists provide medication reconciliation services that optimise medication-related care, while minimising risks and preventing errors. However, legislative support from Member States is needed to enable pharmacists to take fuller responsibility for ensuring that when a patient uses a medicine, it will not cause harm. Granting pharmacists access to patients’ medication histories, for example, would enhance responsibility.
Finally, we applaud the WHO for leading the establishment of a World Patient Safety Day. We would be pleased to celebrate and increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work.