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Australia needs to “get real on medicine safety”

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Australia needs to “get real on medicine safety”, Federal Parliament heard this week.

Speaking in the House of Representatives, Julian Hill (ALP, Vic) said “too many Australians are being seriously injured, sometimes with lifelong impacts or dying, because of the weakness in our pharmacovigilance system”.

Mr Hill, Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, referred to a recent study by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia which “estimated the extent of the problem at 250,000 annual hospital admissions as a result of medication related problems and 400,000 additional presentations to emergency departments, likely because of medicine related problems.

There’s an annual cost of $1.4 billion, and yet 50 per cent of this harm is estimated to be preventable,” he said.

“I have spoken before about my concerns in this area, and so have many other advocates, but the  government is still not taking these issues seriously. Every day of inaction means Australians are at risk of death or serious harm from medicines when it could be avoided”.

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Source: AJP.com.au, 28 November 2019

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