Ensuring the safe and effective use of healthcare products is a key objective for those who work in pharmacovigilance, as well as all other stakeholders, including patients and caregivers. One key element of that is working to reduce and mitigate medication errors and other irrational use of drugs. Therefore, in March 2017, ISoP established a Medication Errors Special Interest Group (SIG) under the leadership of Dr Brian Edwards and Professor Ian Wong.
To provide an opportunity for ISoP members, and like-minded collaborators, to network globally in a professional and neutral environment, to share evidence and solutions that can ideally eliminate and/or at least reduce the number and severity of medication errors. This will enable continuous improvement in the use of medicines whilst supporting the interests of patients and their families, and healthcare professionals.
Our objectives are aligned with and expand on WHO Medication Safety Objectives as follows:
• To create opportunities for those researching and investigating medication errors to network in a friendly and mutually supportive environment and disseminate their research using good quality outlets.
• To support healthcare professionals and/or organizations with scientific evaluation of medication errors and how to prevent them.
• To promote and develop teaching and education about all aspects of medication errors including their mitigation as part of pharmacovigilance, patient safety and pharmacology curricula.
• To support regulatory authorities with medication errors guidance evaluation and acting as a neutral bridge with the wider pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.
• To organise and/or support training and tutorials to pharmacovigilance centres to further enable their role in detecting medication errors through Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) by using specific methods and tools. Insights from this enhanced detection could lead to signal detection and which may inform on new and/or targeted prevention strategies to reduce medication errors.
• To provide a neutral and impartial forum for all stakeholders including patients to ask questions related to medication errors and obtain answers within a reasonable timeline.
• To communicate current activities and provide a forum for discussion and generation of new research and ideas leveraging social media and/or other communication platforms.
• To interact with the pharmaceutical sector and suggest evidence based solutions that can help prevent medication errors, especially in the case of look-alike and sound-alike medications.
• Evaluate and where appropriate recommend the need for meetings, education and/or affordable training, such as encouraging abstracts for the Annual Meeting and inputting into ISoP and chapter training meetings.