Prevalence and economic burden of medication errors in the NHS in England: Rapid evidence synthesis and economic analysis of the prevalence and burden of medication error in the UK

University of Sheffield Policy Research Unit in Economic Evaluation of Health & Care Interventions, March 2018

Report that estimates approximately 66 million potentially clinically significant errors occur per year, 71.0% of these in primary care. This is where most medicines in the NHS are prescribed and dispensed. Prescribing in primary care accounts for 33.9% of all potentially clinically significant errors. It estimates NHS costs of definitely avoidable Adverse Drug Reactions as £98.5 million per year, consuming 181,626 beddays, causing 712 deaths, and contributing to 1,708 deaths.

Click here to view the full report.

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The Report of the Short Life Working Group on reducing medication-related harm

Department of Health and Social Care, March 2018

Report on the recommendations of the Short Life Working Group (SLWG) on reducing medication-related harm the focus is on the World Health Organizations domains:

  1. Patients and the Public
  2. Health Care Professionals
  3. Medicines
  4. Systems and Practice of medication

It also identifies the role of technology.

Click here to view the full report.

Brexit and the impact on patient access to medicines and medical technologies

NHS Confederation, February 2018

Briefing from the NHS Confederation that notes the UK’s plans to leave the European Union (EU) and the EU’s single market could have serious implications for patients’ access to medicines and medical technologies. This briefing explores how UK and EU citizens could be affected by the disruption in trade that could result from the UK’s exit from the EU, as well as in the event of lack of cooperation in the regulation of medicines and devices between the EU and the UK post Brexit.

Click here to view the briefing.

Prescribing anti-epileptic drugs for people with epilepsy and intellectual disability: (College Report CR206)

Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2017

This report addresses the extremely important area of epilepsy in the field of intellectual disability (ID), also known as learning disability. Epilepsy and ID are two conditions that carry stigma and can lead to social isolation. An individual who experiences both these problems faces huge challenges.

Click here to view the report.

Risk of neonatal drug withdrawal after intrauterine co-exposure to opioids and psychotropic medications: cohort study

BMJ 2017;358:j3326

This observational cohort study aims to assess the impact of in utero co-exposure to psychotropic medications and opioids on the incidence and severity of neonatal drug withdrawal.  The study concludes that during pregnancy, the use of psychotropic medications in addition to prescription opioids is common, despite a lack of safety data. The current findings suggest that these drugs could further increase the risk and severity of neonatal drug withdrawal.

Click here to access the full text paper.

Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines

The Academy of Medical Sciences, June 2017

This report highlights the significant difficulties patients and some healthcare professionals face in using evidence from research to judge the benefits and harms of medicines, and calls for concerted action to improve the information patients receive.The report calls for a range of actions including significant improvements to patient information leaflets, better use of medical appointments and a bigger role for NHS Choices as the ‘go to’ source of trusted information online for patients and carers, as well as healthcare professionals.

Click here to view the report