The Medication Route – “What could possibly go wrong?”

Medication saves lives. In an ideal world, that statement would be 100% true. Unfortunately, there’s also a grey area to consider. Before a certain pharmaceutical is finally given to the patient, it actually travels quite a risky road that could possibly jeopardize the medical safety. This map illustrates the medication route – from idea to the final destination, the patient. Some areas are more crucial than others.

The Pharmaceutical Company
The idea for a new drug is born. Considarable safety assays are conducted throughout the early development of the new compound.

The Clinical Trials
Applications for clinical trials get approved by the regulatory authorities.

Regulatory Authority
The Regulatory Authorities determine if a new product can be considered safe and effective and released to the market.

The subcontractor
Pharmaceutical companies often use subcontractors to produce the drug.

The pharmacy
Mistakes in medical compounding are far from uncommon, which several larger studies have shown. The pharmacy is a critical area, since most of the complex compounding is done here.

Medications are perishable items. They have a quite long shelf life, but before they even reach their destination they need to be handled with care. Transportation is a crucial step.

The Hospital
Can the prescription ordered by the doctor be misread? How can the nurses make sure the drug is accurate, if they make the compound on the ward instead of the pharmacy? How do we know that the compound is correct according to the approved levels? Many things can potentially go wrong at the hospital.

So how can we help to enhance safety and create more efficiency in the chain of care?
One way is to check the medication using our device DrugLog®, just before it’s given to the patient. DrugLog® can also help to reduce drug diversion and the use of counterfeit drugs at a hospital – two common problems in healthcare today.

We think that the healthcare system is good in general but there’s certainly room for improvement. A better system reduces both human suffering and financial losses.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to contact us or continue the discussion on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Illustration: Komson