FDA launches medication safety initiative

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The Food & Drug Administration this week introduced the Safe Use Initiative to reduce preventable harm from medications and improve patient health.

Through the initiative, the FDA seeks to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to minimize the risks associated with using medications and reduce preventable harm. Stakeholders include patients, consumers, caregivers, healthcare practitioners, pharmacists, healthcare systems and federal agencies.

The FDA proposes to identify specific candidate cases (e.g., drugs, drug classes, and/or therapeutic situations) that are associated with significant amounts of preventable harm. During the initiative's first 12 months, it intends to implement a small number of interventions. These may involve FDA regulatory actions in concert with actions by other stakeholders. Nearly 10 adverse drug events occur per month for every 100 long-term care residents, according to a 2005 report from The American Journal of Medicine.


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