November 25, 2023 in European News, News

OECD | The economics of medication safety

Poor medication practices and inadequate system infrastructure—resulting in poor adherence, medication-related harms, and medication errors—too often results in patient harm. As many as 1 in 10 hospitalizations in OECD countries may be caused by a medication-related event and as many one in five inpatients experience medication-related harms during hospitalization. Together, costs from avoidable admissions due to medication-related events and added length of stay due to preventable hospital-acquired medication-related harms total over USD 54 billion in OECD countries.

In 2022 the OECD conducted a survey of 20 OECD countries to determine where countries stood in the adoption of policies to improve medication safety. The role of health information infrastructure in improving medication safety is key—and growing evidence suggests that effective drug utilisation review (DUR) processes can reduce medication-related harms and improve safety. Findings show that 14 of 20 responding countries now have national drug utilisation systems. The majority of respondent countries note that the data used for DUR are claims data, however an increasing number of countries also utilise data from e-prescribing systems.

However, a number of countries are using DUR data to drive quality improvement in health care delivery and as a mechanism for providing clinicians and prescribers with feedback.

This report includes four components; it 1) assess the human impact and economic costs of medication safety events in OECD countries, 2) explores opportunities to improve prescribing practices 3) examines the state-of-the art in systems and policies for improving medication safety, and 4) provides recommendations for improving medication safety at the national level.

Find the full report HERE