Monday, February 11, 2008

Hospitals may have to report bad drug reactions

From the National Post:
Hundreds of hospitals across the country would be forced to inform federal authorities whenever patients had serious reactions to drugs and medical devices under a controversial plan Health Canada is quietly proposing.

The regulator notes that as many as 45,000 hospital patients a year suffer from sometimes fatal side effects to the treatments meant to help them, yet only 2% of the incidents are reported.

The tentative proposal is already meeting resistance, though, with critics arguing that making reporting mandatory is a "quick fix" that by itself will not generate the desired flow of safety information.

"Simply passing a law that says, 'It's mandatory' I don't think is going to remove the barriers that are there to improved reporting," said Jeff Poston of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, whose members produce most ad-verse-reaction reports currently. "I don't think it's really a solution." ...more

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