DRAP sets 6-month deadline for enlisting high-risk medications

October 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has set a six-month deadline for public and private health facilities in the country to prepare a list of high-risk medications.For the first...

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ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has set a six-month deadline for public and private health facilities in the country to prepare a list of high-risk medications.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, detailed guidelines have been issued by the DRAP regarding management of high alert medications. The drug authority urged the federal and provincial health authorities to ensure that all the public and private healthcare facilities develop high alert medications lists specific to their setups within next six months.

“Mismanagement of these medicines can cause serious harm to patients including death, a senior official of the DRAP told The News. Although mistakes are not common with these drugs, the consequences of an error are clearly more devastating to patients. It is worth mentioning here that the drug watchdog has recently updated and issued a list of 23 high alert medications, which should be used with extreme care as a slight misuse could be lethal.

Every healthcare facility has its own list of high alert medicines according to the specific treatment it is offering, explained the DRAP official and added that hospitals treating heart patients use separate list of high-risk medicines than the health care facility treating cancer patients. Although, no data is available in Pakistan but experts believe that thousands of people annually die due to ‘medication errors’ in Pakistan like elsewhere in the world.

The DRAP official maintained that they have also asked the federal and provincial health authorities to regularly conduct trainings and awareness sessions on managing high alert medication and develop reporting culture of adverse drug reactions so that harm and deaths could be minimised.

“We have also asked them to display the approved list in prominent places within pharmacies, doctors’ offices and nursing stations and inform all the healthcare staff about the list”, the regulatory body official added.

“DRAP also acknowledges the contribution of pharmacies for their contribution in the development of these guidelines, endorsed by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)”, the official added.

Talking to The News, Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists office-bearer said “a few years back, a child died due to administration of Potassium Chloride in a wrong manner at a health facility in Karachi while many such errors regularly occur due to lack of training and ignorance of healthcare professionals and staff,” she observed.



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