According to the PSA report, about 650,000 Australians are hospitalized annually due to medication problems.
According to the Drug Safety: Take Care of Health report, 250,000 people are admitted to the hospital each year, and another 400,000 to emergency departments.
It costs the country 1.4 billion dollars a year.
PSA President Dr. Chris Freeman said that at least 50% of drug errors could have been avoided if the “remote” approach to drug management had been eliminated.
“If the harm from drugs was a chronic disease, it would already be a national health priority,” he said.
"The report emphasizes that governments, pharmacists and other medical professionals need to work together to reduce the alarming frequency of errors, accidents, misuse and interaction."
Here are eight other key findings from the report:
- When considered, almost every resident of the elderly (98%) had at least one problem associated with taking medication. Up to 80% were prescribed inappropriate medications.
- 17% of unplanned elderly hospitalizations were caused by inappropriate medication.
- Pharmacists have identified at least one error in taking medications in 60% of cases of discharge from the hospital when they took part in the preparation.
- Only 20% of changes in the medication regimen at the hospital were described in detail in the discharge report. Nine out of 10 patients after discharge from the hospital have at least one problem associated with medication.
- A timely discharge report was not provided to 20% of patients with a high risk of hospitalization.
- Polypharmacy caused 70% of hospital admissions due to adverse reactions.
- A quarter of patients taking kidney-dependent medications were given excessive doses for cleaning.
- Approximately 16% of people with poor kidney function admitted to hospital took medications that they should not have prescribed. And 21% was prescribed inadequate dose.
The report was prepared for the PSA by the Center for Pharmaceutical Quality and Pharmacy at the University of SA.
Additional Information: Drug Safety: Take Care