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Patients should use one pharmacy for all their medicines, says WHO

Patients should be encouraged to use a single pharmacy for all their medicines and for information about them, the World Health Organization has recommended.

As part of a set of nine safety solutions launched last week, the WHO recommends that systems should be developed to collect and document information about all medicines a patient is taking and generate a list of these at all stages of treatment. The list should include prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamin and nutritional supplements, potentially interactive food items, herbal preparations and recreational drugs. The source of patients’ medicines should also be included and, where appropriate, community pharmacists should be involved in collecting and validating this information.

To this end, the WHO recommends encouraging patients and families to use a single pharmacy, not only as a provider of medicines but as a source of information about medicines.

Patients and their caregivers should also be encouraged to maintain an accurate list of all medicines patients are taking, the WHO says. It suggests that consideration should be given to developing community systems to support this.

The WHO’s nine safety solutions involve tackling problems with

  1. medicine names
  2. patient identification
  3. patient hand-overs
  4. body site identification
  5. electrolyte solutions
  6. medicine accuracy at care transitions
  7. catheter and tubing connections
  8. injection devices
  9. hand hygiene

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10003913

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