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European pharmacists (PGEU) and Medication Safety

From the PGEU website:

‘Community pharmacists have been working in the development of processes and tools to ensure Patient Safety in community pharmacies, but it is important that both community pharmacists and health policy makers realise the synergies that can arise from integrating those processes in the Patient Safety path.

Moreover, community pharmacy practice is becoming patient centred and process oriented. Dispensing the appropriate medicine and providing the relevant information and care, to the right person, at the right time is central in the community pharmacist’s daily practice. All pharmacists’ daily activities are one way or another linked to Patient Safety. That is why it is not possible to identify single initiatives towards ensuring Patient Safety in community pharmacies without contextualizing them in the community pharmacy setting, the distribution chain and the continuum of care.

However, medication safety is certainly an area where pharmacists’ expertise are of vital importance.’



MDS-3 by MSH

MSH (Managements Sciences for Health) published it’s MDS-3 , 2014, (Managing Access to Medicines and Health Technologies) in which clear statements are made about medication safety risks which are likely to exist in low- and middle income countries.

From summary chapter 35:

‘Poor product quality, adverse drug reactions and medication errors greatly influence health care systems by negatively affecting patient care and increasing costs. Most of the statistics documenting the issues and highlightening the importance of pharmacovigilance come from developed countries, therefor low- and middle income countries likely have greater problems because of the poorer state of their health system infrastructure, the unreliable supply and quality of medicines, the lack of adequately trained essential health care staff, and their limited access to communication and information technology.’

Human Rights and GIMS?

In co-production with Dr. Jennifer Sellin (Lecturer Dept. of International & European Law Faculty of Law, Maastricht University), an article is in preparation.

In this upcoming article a logical link will be made between the human right to Health, and therefor an access to medicines and hence ALSO to be able to use the medicines safely.


‘Show me the money’

Big Pharma is an industry famous for ongoing excellent financial results and thereby loved by investors and analysts.

The Dutch business paper ‘Financiële Dagblad’ produced an article, by Thieu Vaessen on 8 February, which made quite clear how good the industry is doing:

Big Pharma: operational profit margin: 29,4%

Average on 300 international firms: operational profit margin 11,8%

GIMS wants to state: we all find it very logical that car manufacturers have invested for decennia heavely in the (direct) safety of their products, isn’t it then equilly logical if Big Pharma does the same for the (indirect) safety of their products??

Money can’t be the problem.

GIMS MSc research project

In cooperation with a pharmacy student from Utrecht University, Ms Aradhana Kohli, as part of her MSc-thesis, the following will be addressed in a more abstract way:

1) Create a blueprint for a (international applicable) screening and rating model of all structures, processes, actors, factors and the corresponding critical dynamics (Attitude, Knowledge, Tools) between them, concerning Medication Safety in a country.

2) Use the designed screening and rating model on the Dutch situation and evaluate the screening model.

3) Use the results from the Dutch screening for advice on the desired follow up in The Netherlands.

The research project starts in April 2016 and will take six months.

GIMS get’s the picture

When it comes down to getting a better insight in all the actors and factors within a nation, having an influence on the theme of Medication Safety for an individual patient/consumer, a picture is helpfull.

GIMS created this one:

GIMS cirkel diagram V3-01

Alfa actors: health care practioners (doctors, pharmacists, nurses) and retail.

Beta actors: professional organisations of HCP’s, national health care institues (like NICE for the UK), health care software providers, pharmaceutical retail formulas, pharmaceutical wholesale, pharmacovigilance organisations.

Gamma actors: national medicines regulatory bodies, national inspectorate, ministeries of health, academia, patient & consumer organisations, pharmaceutical industry, insurance bodies and/or companies, international bodies like WHO, EMA, EFPIA, PGEU, Cochrane.

Delta factors: national medicines and healthcare legislation, culture, religion, economics, politics, stability and prosperity of a society.

WHO Winter Meeting in Utrecht

On the 7th of January GIMS was happy to perform a presentation in the section ‘Work in Progress’ at the WHO Winter Meeting of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical  Policy and Regulation in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Interest from the audience was generated and new contacts were made.

Sexe differences do matter, also with medicines

Women and men are equal, but logically they are not the same.

Or to put it a rather bluntly, as neuro scientist Danielle Posthuma from Vrije Universiteit Medical Center did: ‘Human females are genetically more related to female Chimpansees than to human men….’

The physiological differences between women and men also have an impact on the way how their bodies react onto fysiological active substances like medicines. More specifically; sexe differences can have a serious effect on the farmaco kinetic and farmaco dynamic aspects of a medicine. At this present day the largest differences are found on medicines which are active in the Central Nervous Systeem.

High national media attention

Due to the release of the Dutch translation of his book ‘Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime’ a lot of media attention was generated for Peter C. Gøtzsche in these last two weeks.

All major Dutch national newspapers reported about it extensively and a television item on the subject was broadcasted.

It has to be seen wether this media attention peak will materialize in deep further discussion and possible (health care policy and regulatory) consequences.

Peter C. Gøtzsche at Leiden University Medical Center

On the 11th of November Peter C. Gøtzsche held a presentation at the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands because of the recent Dutch translation of his famous book ‘Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime’.

Again he was able to reach out to an interested audience. Off course GIMS was present aswell.

In diverse national Dutch newspapers also broad attention was given to the theme and Peter’s vision.