International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation
Unsafe medical care poses a serious threat to the quality of health care services being delivered globally. Consequently, this has made a significant impact on the level of preventable human suffering, strained health system finances, and it has also led to the loss of trust in health systems. Thus, it has been recognised that there is a need to promote and implement patient safety in all levels of health care and in all health care settings to avoid such preventable harm.
One of the leading causes of injury and avoidable harm in health systems are unsafe medication practices and medication errors. It is estimated that the global cost of medication errors have amounted to 42 billion USD annually. With this, there is much that can be done by pharmacists to reduce the burden of medication errors.
With the current efforts to strengthen health systems, IPSF believes that patient safety interventions should be at the foundation of these efforts. One of the best ways to improve patient safety is through systems improvement and learning, which can be achieved through mainstreaming patient safety culture into health systems at all levels, especially in health care settings where there may be a high risk for medication errors.
IPSF calls on Member States to include pharmacists in the implementation of interventions through the promotion of pharmacovigilance and rational use of medicines. Additionally, owing to their medicine expertise pharmacists are in a prime position to educate fellow health care professionals and the public on how to reduce undesired adverse effects from medication errors. In conclusion, IPSF would like to emphasize that since patient safety is a shared responsibility between health care professionals, policies must be in place to reinforce the importance of patient safety, ensuring that the highest quality of care is being delivered to the public.