Medication safety

Medication safety

The most common treatment intervention used in healthcare around the world is medication. It contributes to significant improvements in the health and well-being of patients, when used safely and appropriately.

The importance of medication safety

Adverse drug events (ADEs) result from the inappropriate use of medication, and pose a serious public health problem.
They include:

  • allergic reactions,
  • side effects,
  • overmedication
  • medication errors.

It is estimated that:

  • 82% of American adults take at least one medication and 29% take five or more.
  • ADEs cause more than 1 million emergency department visits and 280,000 hospitalisations each year.
  • $3.5 billion is spent on excess medical costs of ADEs annually in the USA alone.

The number of ADEs is likely to grow due to:

  • the development of new medicines,
  • the discovery of new uses for older medicines,
  • an ageing population, and
  • an increase in the use of medicines for disease treatment and prevention.

What we do

At Life Healthcare, we work hard to provide our patients with the right medication, in the right dose, at the right time. Our integrated risk management system enables us to identify and better prevent medication incidents from occurring anywhere throughout our medication supply chain. This results in the provision of safe medication and a quality service to our patients.

To better understand the medication dos and don’ts while in our hospitals, or after discharge, please download our informative brochures here.

What is generic medication?

Generic medications are copies of brand-name medication that are duly registered with the Medicines Control Council (MCC) of South Africa.

Generics have exactly the same:

  • dosage,
  • intended use,
  • effects,
  • route of administration, and
  • strength as the original medicine.

The pharmacological effects of generics are therefore exactly the same as those of their brand-name counterparts.

According to the Medicines and Related Substances Act, it is the responsibility of the pharmacist to supply a more cost-effective alternative when dispensing medication.

On admission, all our patients are asked to consent to generic substitution of their medication during their hospital stay in order to provide a cost-effective service.

Remember: it is not enough to receive the right services and medication, you must also understand your rights.