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The use of all medicines may not only incur a risk of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) but also of a clinical incident such as an inappropriate reconstitution or administration error. These types of medication error risks can and should be minimised by “Purchasing for Safety” in the first instance.

All NHS pharmacy staff assume a duty of care when supplying a medicine. In order to reduce the number/frequency of incidents caused by medication errors it is essential that all risks are identified and assessed. Following risk identification and assessment action must be taken to minimise the possibility of a patient safety incident.

Effective procurement of the right medicine is an important tool in the risk reduction process. This includes Clinical Pharmacists not only assessing a product’s clinical effectiveness and ADR potential but also its safety in use when responding to a request for a new medicine. Medicines should only be purchased if they are of a suitable quality, safe to use and fit for purpose. Moreover it is essential that the procurement process assesses the capabilities of the supply chain to the hospital to ensure that products are genuine, have been correctly stored and are available when required.


Policy Details

Download: N/A
Compiled by: Shirley Clifton, Pharmacy Operations Manager
Ratified by: Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Date Ratified: May 2018
Date Issued: June 2018
Review Date: May 2020
Target Audience: All staff involved in decisions made to procure a medicinal product
Contact name: Shirley Clifton, Pharmacy Operations Manager


See also:

  • Medicines Management Policy