The FDA today announced a new initiative entitled the Safe Use Initiative. Aimed at consumers, the new program's goal is to reduce the potential for misuse of medications, and prevent harm. Perhaps this is in response to the many public figures dying of mixed medication syndrome, or perhaps as a result of the January 2008 ban on infant cough and cold preparations, or perhaps it has stemmed from the recent pharmacy errors in compounding flu medications.
Whatever the case, the new plan is timely and welcome. Millions of consumers suffer preventable harm each year from inappropriate use, knowingly or unknowingly by consumers. Medication is shared, patients and their doctors and pharmacists are not aware of the potentially harmful drug interactions, bleary eyed sleep deprived parents try to measure their ill child's medication in hard to read and harder to administer from eye dropper syringes, and even in clinics multiple use vials or medications are inappropriately accessed.
Per the FDA Consumer Updates Page, "FDA intends to hold a series of public meetings to gather feedback as the list of problems to be addressed is being developed. FDA will open a public docket to receive comments on the report and on the proposed candidate problems."
Follow the links for more information, and how to become involved and help take charge of your family's health.