Use of medications is the most common intervention we make in health care, which means that problems with medicine use are also common.
Problems with medication can occur at any time during their use, including when the decision is made to use a medicine, during dispensing, and while using the medicine. This report details the extent of harms in Australia as a result of medicine use. The main types of harm include hospital admissions due to medicines and adverse events. We estimate the number of hospital admissions due to medicines, the number of emergency department attendances due to medicines, and present the extent of adverse events in the community setting.
We also identify the extent of medication-related problems after discharge from hospital and for residents in aged care. We conclude by highlighting some of the opportunities where pharmacists can play a role in minimising these harms.