Memorandum by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical
Medicine (PS 30)
1. What do you consider are the main risks
to patients within your speciality area?
a) The inappropriate use of medicines, whether
by dose, indication or combination
b) Not recognising side effects
2. What are the principal causes of harm
to patients within your specialty?
a) The lack of knowledge and understanding
The Summary of Product Characteristics
(SmPCs) of medicines, in particular their indications, warnings
Use outside of licensed indications
Use in certain patient groups eg
paediatrics, the elderly
b) Inexperienced investigators, including
principal investigators, in Phase 1 and 2 studies
3. What actions should be taken to reduce
harm within your specialty?
a) Easy availability and access to SMPCs
b) Increased pharmacology / therapeutics
training at medical school
c) Greater emphasis on good prescribing
in early post-qualification years
4. What would you like to see done to increase
the safety of patients in the NHS as a whole?
Better training and updating on the appropriate
use of individual medicines as per the responses above, but also
class use, eg antibiotic prescribing.