Medication is the most widely utilised intervention in health care, and medication-related harm constitutes the greatest proportion of the total preventable harm due to unsafe care, let alone the economic and psychological burden imposed by such harm.

Acknowledging this substantial burden and recognising the complexity of medication-related harm prevention and reduction, “medication safety” is this year’s theme on World Patient Safety Day (September 17).

Medication harm accounts for 50 percent of overall preventable harm in medical care. About $42 billion of global total health expenditure can be avoided if medication errors are prevented, according to the World Health Organization.