D24 - FIP-WHO Patient And Medication Safety – Meeting The Challenge



Marja Airaksinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)


Pharmacists are the ultimate experts in medicines and medication management processes. According to 2011 FIP/WHO Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) guidelines, the aim of pharmacy practice is to “contribute to health improvement and to help patients with health problems to make the best use of their medicines.”

Pharmacists are in a unique position to address the challenges related to medication use. They are also well positioned to minimise the risk inherent in the transfer of care between hospitals/healthcare systems and the community, and have the chance to develop their roles in medication optimisation and adherence, prevention of illness and safety incidents, adoption of best practices, patient self-management and monitoring, and collaborative health care. Pharmacists are becoming more involved in both therapeutic decisions and advocacy of stewardship programmes.

Additionally, on the global level, FIP is working in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its patient safety programme. Patient safety was identified to be the high-priority topic for FIP in the interaction with the WHO. Patient safety has become even more important area of collaboration, as WHO launched the third Global Patient Safety Challenge focused on medication safety last year. The overall goal of the Challenge “Medication without Harm” is to reduce medication errors and medication related harm by 50% in the next 5 years, worldwide.

This session will present the Challenge and its implementation strategies. What is the role of WHO in supporting countries to achieve the ambitious goal? What has been done so far? What is the role of pharmacists and their national organisations? This session will present strategies on how to stimulate action, creation of new policies and practices/services at country and international level to improve patient safety.


  1. 14:30 – 14:35 Introduction by the chair
  2. 14:35 – 15:05 WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge focused on medication safety
    Minna Häkkinen (WHO, Switzerland)
  3. 15:05 – 15:30 FIP’s work in patient safety
    Marja Airaksinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
  4. Examples of pharmacist-led practices in patient safety in Oman
    Sara Al-Balushi (Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman)
    15:50 – 16:10 Coffee/tea break
  5. 16:10 – 16:40 Development and implementation of innovative policies enhancing the improvement in patient outcomes with medicines
    Alpana Mair (Effective Prescribing and Therapeutics – Scottish Government)
  6. 16:40 – 17:10 Tools for pharmacists
    Barbra Fobi (Institute for Safe Medication Practices – ISMP, USA)
  7. 17:10 – 17:30 Q&A, summary and wrap up

Learning Objectives

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

  1. Define the importance of pharmacists’ activities and services focused on medication safety;
  2. Identify the gaps in medication safety;
  3. Outline the implementation strategies of Global Patient Safety Challenge focused on medication safety in different countries.

Type of session: Knowledge-based