World Patient Safety Day 2023: the Person at the centre of the therapeutic path

World Patient Safety Day 2023 a celebration aimed at shining the spotlight on patient safety and related issues – will be observed on Sunday, September 17, all over the world. Established in 2019 by the Seventy-second Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Patient Safety Day indeed aims to promote patient safety by increasing the awareness and commitment of institutions, and to improve global understanding and solidarity, to foster action by WHO member states.

Since then, every year this day has been dedicated to a specific theme, which for 2023 is Engaging patients for patient safety, aimed at highlighting the critical role played by patients, relatives and caregivers in health care safety, as well as part of an effective management of the therapeutic path. Many studies show that when patients – and their caregivers – are treated as partners within the therapeutic journey, better results are achieved in terms of safety, health and patient satisfaction; it is therefore increasingly important to comprehensively intensify their awareness and involvement, so that they are always an active part of the entire process.

The basic principle is that all Pharmaceutical Companies are responsible for the safety of their drugs. Safety is reviewed in relation to its therapeutic efficacy through the evaluation of the risk-benefit ratio.

In the same way, Regulatory Authorities – AIFA in Italy – also deal with monitoring the safety profile of medicines and of promote their safe use, to ensure that a product is used under approved conditions, so that it can be fully effective. This way patients are protected from side effects.

World Patient Safety Day 2023: la Persona al centro del percorso di cura

Pharmacovigilance – drug surveillance – is the set of activities aimed at identifying, evaluating, understanding and preventing adverse effects or other issues related to the use of medicines, to ensure a favourable risk-benefit ratio for the population. It has precisely this purpose: to monitor the drug’s safety throughout its entire life cycle.

Pharmacovigilance data, shared between Pharmaceutical Companies and Authorities, can be obtained from different sources: reports of suspected adverse reactions (spontaneous, reported by patients, caregivers, doctors and healthcare personnel, etc.), clinical studies, scientific literature, market research and many others.

The first step to take to ensure the safe use of medicines in patients is certainly to provide correct information: as soon as a drug is marketed and used in a large number of patients in normal clinical practice, the possibility of making mistakes in its use increases, along with – consequently – the occurrence of any unknown side effects.

World Patient Safety Day 2023: la Persona al centro del percorso di cura

For this reason, patients need to be made aware of the relevant aspects to pay attention to, such as the drug’s expiration date, its correct storage, the accurate execution of the prescription, the appropriate dosage and other details which are always reported in the Patient Leaflet contained in the package.

Hence, patients, family members and caregivers take on an active and very valuable role to help monitor the safety profile of a drug, reporting any unwanted effects occurred during its use, through the appropriate channels.

Thanks to technological innovation and the development of digital tools, over time this process has become increasingly easier and more immediate for patients, because there are many channels through which it is possible to report issues and concerns. Just think about the possibility of sending comments and directs through the digital channels and the social networks of the pharmaceutical companies, which in this way can quickly manage and take charge of any reports.

Patient safety has always been a priority for IBSA and, also considering this technological evolution, the company continues to reinforce its commitment to ensuring that its products are safe – thanks to the work of its Pharmacovigilance Department – and to listen to patients and collect their reports through the Community Management function on the company’s social media channels. Browse the cards and remember: “Safety first”!