Pakistan needs to introduce culture of patient safety and medication safety - Mr. Lateef Sheikh


Pakistan needs to introduce culture of patient
safety and medication safety - Mr. Lateef Sheikh
Pakistan’s total pharmaceutical market is over
200B rupees and there is no supervision at all

LAHORE: Pakistan has a total pharmaceutical market of over two hundred billion rupees and most of it was not being monitored at all. In Pakistan it is estimated that over one million patients use Aspirin daily for prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Pakistan’s Pharma market consists of 85% retail pharmacy and 15% institutional pharmacy and none of them was being supervised. Had there been some supervision, the incidents which took place at Doctor’s Hospital and Punjab Institute of Cardiology at Lahore would not have occurred. This was stated by Mr. Abdul Latif Sheikh Director Pharmacy Services at Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. He was making a presentation on pharmacists monitoring parameters in Aspirin use, efficacy and compliance at the 6th National Conference of Pakistan Aspirin Foundation held at Fatima Jinnah Medical College Lahore on October 5th 2013. This conference was very well attended by members of the medical and nursing procession besides some medical students. At present major consumption of Aspirin was in cardiac patients, he added.
Mr. Lateef Sheikh further stated that for monitoring and supervision of pharmacy services, a team approach is needed. We must select a team. It is the physicians who prescribe drugs, dispensing and monitoring should be done by pharmacists and nurses administer drugs. Referring to the global scenario as regards medication usage and safety, Mr. Lateef Sheikh said that upto 20% of drugs administered in hospitals were given in error. There were many potential Adverse Drug Events which included 1% fatal, 12% life threatening and 56% of preventable ADRs occurred when the drugs were ordered. A review of 14,179 admissions in Australia showed that ADEs occurred in 16.6% of patients, 10.7% had permanent disability, 4.9% had death and almost 54% of these ADRs were preventable.
Continuing Mr. Lateef Sheikh said that 15-25% of medication errors are due to confusing names while other 20-30% medication errors are associated with look-alike and sound alike names. The global burden of unsafe medical care is enormous. He also showed medication errors related to Beta Blockers and Aspirin at admission and discharge in various hospitals and highlighted the roadmap to medication safety as regards adverse drug events. While use of Low Dose Aspirin daily offers many benefits as regards cardiovascular diseases but it also has some risks. Hence one must speak to the physician first before starting to take Aspirin. What we need is to give importance to issues like patient safety and medication safety and establish multidisciplinary teams to promote medication safety. Senior consultants should undertake monitoring while clinical pharmacists should assist physicians and help the patients, Mr. Lateef Sheikh concluded.