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Medicine related hospital admissions

In the beginning of 2017 a follow up report (of the HARM study and HARM Wrestling report, see GIMS library) was released which made clear that:

For patients over 65 years:

Investigation period was 2008-2013,

10% of the hospitalisations were medicine related,

50% of these were potentially avoidable!

for the Dutch situation that comes down to about 50.000 potentially avoidable hospitalisations per year!

For report:

eindrapport-vervolgonderzoek-medicatieveiligheid (1)

Electronic prescription is a must have

In a just relased Dutch Health Inspectorate Investigational  Report titled,  in translation,  ‘Safe prescription must (be) better’ it is stated as an absolute demand that, in order to minimize errors etc, the prescription must be electronical.

veilig-voorschrijven-moet-beter 2017

LMIC’s should also be able to implement some form of electronic prescribing (and dispensing) system in order to help prevent health care risks, from the unsafe prescription/dispensing and use of medicines, for their populations. At the GIMS foundation we are currently working on such a (broadly applicable) IT-tool.

The GIMS model 1.0

The ‘GIMS model for screening and rating Medication Safety in a country 1.0’ is out!

This analytical tool with a new and comprehensive approach, regarding all the actors and factors influencing Medication Safety in a country,  is of use for scientific and pharmaceutical policy research as it identifies the actual status and brings focus on possible improvements.

GIMS foundation invites fellow researchers to comment.

GIMS model version 1.0


Chicago area; 52% of dangerous drug interactions were missed

The Chicago Tribune published on the 15th December 2016 a great piece of investigative journalism which took 2 years to perform.

The result is vastly shocking; out of the 255 selected pharmacies (big chains aswell as independent pharmacies) a staggering 52% did NOT mention the potential serious interactions to the patients.

For the full article use the link underneath.

At GIMS foundation we argue; if even in a High Income country like the USA such a bad result is obtained, what would the situation be in Low- & Middle Income countries….

That is why in these countries the improvements on the ‘Acces to medication-theme’ should be accompagnied by Medication Safety measures!


Pay only for results

With the arrival of new, mainly anti-cancer, drugs which are targeted at small populations and which are very/extremely high priced, international discussions are intensifying how to deal with the budget consequences. Especially when such a specific medicine does not reach 100% efficacy.

One of the lines of thinking, proposed by the pharma industry, consists of making definitive payment dependend upon achieved individual therapeutic results. So if there is no result, there will be no payment.

At GIMS we welcome this concept, but at the same time argue that this concept should ALSO be applied to other groups of less expensive medicines. Then industry would also be more interested in having a positive influence on the results of other chain partners.

In the end, medicines are ‘just a mean’ in reaching a desired health result, or therapeutic outcome, for which society is willing/able to pay.

EFPIA and Medication Safety

EFPIA (being the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) states it very clearly in their Annual Report 2015:

‘Our Vision: We support a vision of outcomes driven, sustainable healthcare systems ……..and ensure the highest security of the medicines supply chain.’

‘Our Commitment: Improving patient outcomes……and improving patient safety…..By working in partnership with all health care stakeholders, we seek to develop practical solutions to make these goals a reality.’ 

At GIMS we warmly welcome these explicit words, commitments and co-responsibilities.


‘Poor prescription practices across Africa are putting patients at risk’

Again, as described in the underneath mentioned article,  it is made clear that there is still a lot of work to be done concerning Medication Safety…

And it is quite safe to estimate that it is not only a problem in Africa!

‘Irrational prescriptions are a major global health problem. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than half of all medicines are inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or sold. In addition, half of all patients fail to take them correctly.

In Africa, where most countries have weak health systems and underdeveloped mechanisms for routine monitoring of medicines, this problem is common.’

For full article:

poor practices-across-africa-are-putting-patients-at-risk/


Industry get proactive!

The very fine article ‘Specific features of medicines safety and pharmacovigilance in Africa’ already made rather clear:

‘The pharmaceutical industry also poses a major
challenge to the growth of pharmacovigilance. As
a major stakeholder, it should be proactive in
efforts to ensure the safety of medicines and not
merely opting to remain a marketing outfit as
seen in African countries. It is hoped that appropriate
legislation will address this aberration.’

Specific features of medicines safety and pharmacovigilance in Africa (2012)