Pharmaceutical companies at the forefront of patient safety
15 Sep 2023
Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Novartis, ranked among the world’s top pharmaceutical companies, on Friday reiterated its commitment to patient safety in line with the its mission to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As the world gears up to mark World Patient Safety Day on September 17, the spotlight falls squarely on the pharmaceutical industry and its indispensable role in advancing patient safety. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a staggering 50% of adverse events causing harm to patients are attributed to medication-related issues.
Ahmed Salah, Patient Safety Manager for the Middle East and Turkey Region and Country Patient Safety Head, Gulf at Novartis said, "Pharmaceutical companies are at the forefront of patient safety, given their responsibility for developing, manufacturing, and monitoring medications,” Salah emphasises. “At Novartis, this commitment is manifested through robust investments in research and development, collaborations with healthcare professionals and patient advocacy groups, and strict adherence to rigorous regulatory standards.”
As marked by WHO, World Patient Safety Day 2023 is dedicated to the theme “Engaging patients for patient safety” and the slogan “Elevate the voice of patients!”. The day aims to influence stakeholders including patients, families, policy makers, health care leaders, health workers and patient organizations to work collaboratively towards co-designing health care policies and safety interventions that truly reflect the needs and preferences of patients, ultimately enhancing healthcare safety globally.
“Novartis engages closely with healthcare professionals, patient advocacy groups, and regulatory bodies to collectively enhance patient safety practices and foster innovation in healthcare. We also actively engage patients and healthcare providers in our drug development process to gain their insights into their perspectives, needs, and preferences. This approach guarantees that our medications are not only effective but also well-tolerated and safe for the intended patient population,” said Salah.
The impact of meaningful patient engagement is remarkable, with studies showing a potential reduction in the burden of harm by up to 15%, saving countless lives and billions of dollars each year. Therefore, patient and family engagement has been embedded as a fundamental principle in the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA72.6) on Global action on patient safety and in the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030.
“Novartis is committed to engaging with patients and the broader healthcare community to encourage the reporting of adverse reactions to medications. We do this through various channels, including our website, and by offering educational materials to healthcare professionals, organizations and individuals. We also have a dedicated team of patient safety experts based in each of the regions we operate in globally who promptly evaluate all adverse event reports,” concluded Salah.