World Patient Safety Day 2022 aims for medication without harm

17 Sep 2022 09:30am
Medication without Harm is the main theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022 to highlight the importance of safeguarding patients' safety in any medication practice. - Photo: 123RF
Medication without Harm is the main theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022 to highlight the importance of safeguarding patients' safety in any medication practice. - Photo: 123RF

SHAH ALAM – Medication safety becomes the main objective for this year’s World Patient Safety Day which will be celebrated on Sept 17, 2022 to safeguard patient safety in all aspects of medication practice.

This year, the theme “Medication Without Harm” was chosen to highlight the importance and relevancy of issues pertaining to medicine.

In a statement released by the Malaysian Pharmacy Association, President Amrahi Buang said that medication errors could happen at any time which could endanger the patient.

Thus, must be prevented.

“As a health professional specialising in medicine (Guardian of medicines), the role of a pharmacist in medication safety is extremely relevant, dominant and needed,” he said.

He also said the three main objectives of quality, safety and effectiveness in this year’s World Patient Safety day were essential for the pharmacists to note.

“These professionals and officers should have a suitable competency in medication safety so that patients will not be getting the wrong prescription,” Amrahi said.

He said that among the many responsibilities of a pharmacist, they must ensure medicine quality, safety and effectiveness were for all and must be in line with the National Medicines Policy (DUNas) where all medicine in the Malaysian market must be registered with the Drug Control Authority of the Health Ministry under the National Pharmacy Regulatory Agency.

Related Articles:

“In addition to product registration, monitoring the use of registered products is also done through pharmacovigilance.

“Together with pharmacy enforcement, pharmacists must also ensure that unregistered drugs like selling them online or through advertisements not following the Poisons Act 1952 and the Sale & Advertisement of Medicines Act 1956 to be taken appropriate action following our laws,” he said.

He said that another big issue that needed to be addressed was the large gap between the public and private sectors of health in terms of medication safety.

According to him, the public health sector paid more attention to medication safety in contrast to the private sector which could be due to the latter’s lack of pharmacists and absence of dispensing segregation practices.

“Private doctors must provide a complete prescription slip upon a patient’s request because that is their right,” he said.

He said that issues on prescription slips were closely related to patient safety because prescription slips that pharmacists did not screen would be an obvious risk and could harm patients.

Such mistakes, he said, were recorded in the medication safety report of the Health Ministry where most of the reports were made by the public sector regarding the practice of the private sector which they may not be aware of.

Amrahi said the ministry had taken a few initiatives to curb such problems through the Pharmacy Services Programme like the “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Medicine Ambassadors and Community Concerns Ambassadors” programmes which aimed at increasing the public’s health literacy.

He said the “Know Your Medicine” programme had been accepted into the Healthy Malaysia National Agenda (ANMS) in line with the government’s efforts to curb non-communicable diseases (NCD) in this country.

He also said that one of the most significant impacts of a pharmacist’s role was ensuring patients’ adherence to their medications.

“Patients’ non-adherence to their medications will complicate the situation and affect the treatment of the diseases they suffer from.

“Only with this compliance can we know if the treatment involving these drugs is as effective as expected,” he said.

Echoing his views, FIP President Dorminique Jordan said that pharmacists utilised their vast knowledge and unique skills to ensure the public receives the best benefits from their medication.

“Moreover, today, pharmacists are held accountable to ensure that whenever a drug is used by a patient, it does not cause harm,” he said.