EMA Makes New Medication Errors Webpage and Good Practice Guide Available
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a good practice guide on medication errors to improve the reporting, evaluation and prevention of medication errors by regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry throughout the EU. In parallel, EMA has launched a webpage highlighting measures recommended by the Agency to prevent medication errors for specific medicines. This page will include clear and easy-to-understand information to patients and healthcare professionals to further promote the safe use of medicines.
A medication error is a mistake in the use of a medicine that can be harmful for a patient. Medication errors can occur for many reasons at the time of prescribing, dispensing, storing, preparation or administration of a medicine. It is estimated that among hospitalised patients 18.7% to 56% of adverse events are caused by medication errors.
In the European Union (EU), national competent authorities and EMA play a key role in identifying and reducing the risk of medication errors before and after the authorisation of a medicine. For all medicines the presentation, labelling and leaflet are designed to prevent medication errors. However, in some cases, additional measures are needed to ensure that the medicine is used correctly, for example by introducing educational programmes for healthcare professionals and patients. EMA will now systematically communicate on any additional measure decided upon at EU level to prevent medication errors. The new webpage will offer a reference point to patients and healthcare professionals for key advice on how to prevent medication errors in order to ensure the safe use of medicines.