Geneva, SUI – A campaign launched this week by World Health Organization (WHO) to attempt to reduce medication-associated harm in all countries by 50 percent over the next 5 years. This campaign aims to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed as well as increase awareness among patients about not adhering and the risks associated with improper use.

Some of the data that is supporting the new campaign push:

  • One death a day and 1.3 million injuries annually in the US alone
  • $42 billion estimated cost associated with medication errors
We all expect to be helped, not harmed, when we take medication, said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. Apart from the human cost, medication errors place an enormous and unnecessary strain on health budgets. Preventing errors saves money and saves lives.

The campaign challenges countries to take action in these four key areas:

  • Patients and the public
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Medicines as products
  • Systems and practices of medication

WHO will be providing guidance, planned tools and making sure patient centricity is at the core. This initiative is following in the footsteps of WHO’s past two campaigns – hand washing hygiene (2005) and safe surgery (2008).

Why This Matters –

With pharma being the manufacturers behind the medicines, this is an optimal opportunity for brands to get behind this initiative and bring this into the fold as brand planning begins to ramp up for 2018 and beyond. It will be exciting to watch this campaign impact adherence, patient’s access open up to medications with payers and education in the four key areas listed above with the end result being less injury and harm to the patient population.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.