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Drug shortages linked with medication errors, study results suggest


A French study of adverse drug reactions has a highlighted a link between drug shortages and medication error.

Data from the French Pharmacovigilance Database show that medication errors were identified in 11% of the 462 cases mentioning a drug shortage.

The researchers found that medication errors usually occurred at the administration step and involved a human factor.

“A drug shortage may lead to a replacement of the unavailable product by an alternative,” the researchers wrote. “However, this alternative may have different packaging, labelling, dosage and sometimes a different route of administration that may increase the risk of a medication error.”

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Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 11 October 2022

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