BfArM researches medication errors

BfArM researches medication errors

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Study to research medication errors as the cause of hospital admissions

Adverse drug effects that can be attributed to medication errors cause around 500,000 hospital emergency admissions in Germany each year. This information is based on expert estimates, since precise data on the frequency and causes of medication errors are only available in isolated cases. As part of a research project, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) wants to close this data gap in the future and thus contribute to improving the safety of drug therapy.

BfArM wants to develop strategies to avoid medication errors. Three clinics in Bonn, Fürth and Ulm are taking part in the project. The BfArM experts evaluate around 90,000 emergency admissions to hospitals over a year to find out whether these are due to errors in prescribing or using medication. The researchers expect that around 9,000 cases of this are likely to result from adverse drug effects. They hope that the results will provide initial insights into the extent and causes of medication errors. Strategies for avoiding these errors, some of which can have serious consequences, are to be derived from this. "At the same time, the relationship to such undesirable drug effects that are not caused by medication errors should be recorded," informs the BfArM.

Contribution to the improvement of drug therapy safety “In practice, medication errors always lead to considerable damage to health, although they could often be avoided. With our research in the interests of patients, we can make a targeted contribution to further improving drug therapy safety, ”explains BfArM President Prof. Dr. Karl Broich. The research project is led by Prof. Julia Stingl and Prof. Dirk von Mallek from BfArM and the Faculty Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Bonn. There is also a cooperation with the Medicines Commission of the German Medical Association (AkdÄ), which starts a project at the same time that medication errors should be recorded and evaluated centrally. "This also uses data from the spontaneous reporting system, that is, suspicious transaction reports that doctors and patients, among others, report to the BfArM," reports the Federal Institute. Both projects are part of the Federal Ministry of Health's 2013-2015 action plan, which is intended to improve the safety of drug therapy in Germany. The BfArM research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Health with 580,000 euros. (ag)

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Video: Medication errors: what patients can do to minimise them


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