Medicine safety should be everyone’s priority

31 January 2019

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The report released today by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia demonstrates that there is clearly work to be done to prevent hospital admissions as a result of medication-related harm.

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) supports the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) and welcomes any initiatives to improve medicine use and safety. Healthcare professionals across the board need to work towards a collaborative approach to medicines management.

In addressing medication misuse, it is important to note the alarming fact that 60% of Australians do not have adequate levels of health literacy to make informed choices and decisions about their own healthcare.

Health literacy levels indicate the level of ability to read medicine labels, interpret advertising, understand instructions from healthcare professionals and communicate effectively in a health context.

In an age where our access to technology, information and health advice is unprecedented, ASMI believes that this is simply unacceptable. The government needs to take action to make improving health literacy a national priority.

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing manufacturers and distributors of non-prescription medicines.

Over the past two years, we have been working with government to enact substantial reforms to non-prescription medicine advertising and labelling to improve the responsible and effective use of medicines.

Tomorrow, we are participating in the government's Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) workshop to look at ways we, as an industry, can make medicine information more easily accessible and improve readability.