Fimea continued to promote medication safety and safe pharmacotherapy
In 2022, Fimea continued to produce various kinds of drug information for citizens and medication professionals. The aim is to promote medication safety for Finns and people living in Finland and implementation of safe pharmacotherapy.
Implementation of the instructions for the safe use of medicines continued
The updated instructions for the safe use of medicines was published in February 2021. To promote and implement the guide, Fimea coordinated a project with the Regional State Administrative Agencies, Valvira and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and cooperated with the Finnish Centre for Client and Patient Safety. The guide is a recommendation aimed at supporting units providing pharmacotherapy in ensuring the safety of pharmacotherapy. The new guide also more clearly extends the recommendations beyond the social and health care sector. A template for a medication plan is attached to the guide.
At the beginning of 2022, Fimea published four videos to explain and support the topics as well as an infograph called “Lääkehoitosuunnitelman jalkauttamisen tarkistuslista” (A checklist for the implementation of a medication plan). A related FAQ section can be found on the Fimea website.
Fimea started a project for the national classification of high-risk medicines
Implementation of the instructions for the safe use of medicines demonstrated that there is a need for a national classification of high-risk medicines and in the spring 2022, Fimea launched a project to that end.
In the autumn 2022, the classification was produced together with an expert panel using the Delphi method. The classification is under public hearing in the beginning of 2023. The aim is to publish the national classification of high-risk medications in the spring 2023.
Clear instructions in several languages for users
“Instructions for the safe use of medicines” is a plain-language guide for users on how to safely use medicines and how to use pharmacy services. The guide produced by the National Medicines Information Network and published by Fimea has been updated in Finnish and Swedish. In addition, a new version in English was published at the beginning of 2022. Fimea communicated about the materials in connection with the Pharmacotherapy Day held on 17 March 2022.
The guide provides practical and clear instructions on topics such as dosages, monitoring the success of pharmacotherapy, and reliable sources of drug information.
The guide provides practical and clear instructions on topics such as dosages, monitoring the success of pharmacotherapy, and reliable sources of drug information. In addition, the guide describes how medicines are reimbursed, what do the out-of-pocket maximum and generic substitution mean and how you can act on behalf of another person at a pharmacy. The Finnish Centre for Easy Language has approved the Finnish text as easy language and authorised the use of its logo in the guide.
Three summaries of the main content of the guide have been prepared and translated into several languages for different target groups living in Finland. A need for multilingual and non-technical material on the use of medicines emerged in the National Medicines Information Network and the network’s Medicine users working group contributed actively to the drawing up of the material. Multi-lingual summaries are also tested by native speakers.
The guides and summaries are available on the Fimea website. The summaries were published in connection with the Pharmacotherapy Day held on 17 March 2022.
“Know and Act” cards to support drug advice to the elderly
Elderly people living at home can pose medication safety-related risks but these can be prevented with appropriate advice and counselling. It is not enough that a physician prescribes the appropriate drug, it must also be sufficiently ensured that the patient takes the drugs as prescribed. Compromised safety of pharmacotherapy can lead to serious harm. Typical risk situations at home include storage and taking of the medication.
Together with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Fimea prepared a new tool: “Tiedä ja toimi” (Know and Act) cards that can be freely used for providing advice on medication safety to the elderly and their families. One card is aimed at elderly people living at home and another one for the family caregivers.
The cards illustrate when medication safety can be at risk and how to promote medication safety at home. They also list several sources of information. You can use the online versions to support providing advice or print them to hand out to the elderly or their family.
Turvallinen lääkehoito (in Finnish) (www.fimea.fi)
Instructions for the safe use of medicines (www.fimea.fi)
Turvallinen lääkehoito – iäkkäät. Tiedä ja toimi. THL 2022 (www.julkari.fi)