A3 - Medication Without Harm – What pharmacists need to know

Madrid 1

Organised by the FIP Community Pharmacy Section in collaboration with FIP’s SIG on Pharmacy Practice Research


Lars-Åke Söderlund, Apoteket AB, Sweden and Charlotte Rossing, Pharmakon, Denmark


Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in health care systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion USD annually. Errors can occur at different stages of the medication use process. Medication errors occur when weak medication systems and/or human factors such as fatigue, poor environmental conditions or staff shortages affect prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring practices, which can then result in severe harm, disability and even death. Multiple interventions to address the frequency and impact of medication errors have already been developed, yet their implementation is varied. A wide mobilization of stakeholders supporting sustained actions is required. In response to this, WHO has identified Medication Without Harm as the theme for the third Global Patient Safety Challenge. Everyone, especially pharmacists, patients and health care professionals, has a role to play in ensuring medication safety. WHO’s goal is to achieve widespread engagement and commitment of WHO Member States and professional bodies around the world to reducing the harm associated with medication.

Medication Without Harm aims to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50%, globally between 2017-2022. Are you ready as a pharmacist, and is your country ready?


  1. What is the Medication Without Harm Initiative?
    Charlotte Rossing, Pharmakon, Denmark
  2. Country case Denmark
    Anne Kahns, Association of Danish Pharmacies, Denmark
  3. Country case Germany
    Martin Schulz, ABDA, Germany
  4. Country case Oman
    Sara Al-Balushi, Ministry of Health, Oman

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Gain knowledge on the WHO initiative “Medication Without Harm”
  2. Discuss recently applied national initiatives to improve medication safety
  3. Understand how to formulate quality improvement methodology tools to improve safety
  4. Share ideas and experiences on how Medication Without Harm is addressed in different countries

Type of session: Application-based