Saturday, April 13, 2024

Opportunity to get involved with optimal use of medicines


This week provides two opportunities to get involved with optimal use of medicines.

Last month, terms of reference for a National Medicines Steering Group were set to achieve improved health outcomes through the optimal use of medicines.

The steering group is chaired by the Manatū Hauora chief medical officer, with representatives from seven major health and medical agencies including Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora, and Medsafe. The goal of the new group is to coordinate activity across the system to optimise the use of medicines. 

“This group is made up of 18 members, including consumer representatives. Expressions of interest for consumer representatives close on Friday, October 20, so we encourage anyone considering making an application to fill in the form available here: Consumer opportunities | Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission (,” the Ministry said today.

For those in the sector or wanting to learn more about a specific area of medicine safety, the World Health Organization is holding a webinar on Medication Safety for Look-Alike, Sound-Alike Medicines (, which is currently open for registration and will be held early on Saturday morning New Zealand time.

Medicine errors are a major cause of patient harm around the world. Many medicines have names which are very similar in spelling or pronunciation, or which have very similar packaging or appearance, which can lead to confusion. 

The webinar marks the launch of a WHO publication into the issue.

Cross-sector cooperation and taking advantage of learning opportunities will help New Zealand maintain and improve the optimal use of medicines.

Latest Articles