Collaboration between regulators and industry on design of drugs could reduce errors

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 11 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:743
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Drug regulators could work more closely with manufacturers and patient safety organisations to reduce treatment errors, experts on patient safety told a conference last week.

    The design of drugs and their packaging, nomenclature of different products, and labelling all contributed to some of the 6000 drug treatment errors reported every month to the UK National Patient Safety Agency's national reporting and learning system from June 2006 to May 2007, Bruce Warner, senior pharmacist for the agency, told the conference in London on reducing treatment errors, which was organised by Healthcare Events.

    One example was the similarity in trade names between the proton pump inhibitor omeprazole, which is sold as Losec, and the diuretic furosemide, marketed as Lasix, said David Williams, the clinical pharmacology lead for patient safety research at the University of Aberdeen.

    In the United States a decision had been made to change the name …

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