Quality & Patient Safety

Australia: Patient data could thwart medication dangers

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, January 6, 2009

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality Healthcare is asking the Australian government to review information in Medicare and pharmaceutical records in an effort to find the most dangerous medications, according to the Grenfell Record.

The commission used the example of the drug Vioxx, which the commission linked to more than 1,000 adverse events, as an example of how prompt use of information could help avoid poor pharmaceutical outcomes, according to the Record. The commission argues that if the pattern of adverse events, which occurred mostly in patients with diabetes and heart problems, was detected earlier, more lives would have been saved.

The statement by the commission comes after the release of its annual report, Windows into Safety and Quality in Healthcare 2008, which makes the case for more accountability in healthcare.

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