Public debate on the role of drug regulatory agencies and health authorities in assessing and preventing the risks of medication errors
Held on Thursday 10th October 2013
Prescrire’ meeting rooms – 68-70 Bd Richard Lenoir – 75011 Paris
Safe design of healthcare products, a key strategy for reducing preventable harm
Medication errors frequently occur because of confusion from: sound-alike or look-alike medicine names; similarities in packaging and labelling appearance; unclear, ambiguous or incomplete medicine label information. These problems can lead to errors in selecting and using medicines including wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong formulation, wrong route and method of administration.
In many countries the regulation of medicine naming, labelling and packaging does not provide adequate safeguards for patients. There is little recognition of the importance of the human factor in the selection and the design of drug names, labels and packages with a view of minimizing error risks and enhancing medication safety. Current approaches to labelling and packaging favour commercial interests, such as “trade dress” or “umbrella” brands, and overlook the context in which the medicine will be used.
The Paris conference on safer naming, labelling and packaging of medicines featured a public debate on the role of drug regulatory agencies and health authorities in assessing and preventing the risks of medication errors. The conference was aimed at: regulators and policy makers, healthcare professionals, patients, drug companies.