ASA has partnered with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Safe Use Initiative on two major initiatives to improve the safe use of medications and reduce preventable harm from medication misuse, abuse and errors. The rate of medication errors and preventable harmful events is still a serious cause for concern. The 2007 Institute of Medicine report Preventing Medication Errors estimated that at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur in the United States each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.

To complement the agency’s regulatory mission of approving safe and effective medications, the FDA launched the Safe Use Initiative in 2009. The Safe Use Initiative supports collaborative, non-regulatory efforts between the FDA and health care stakeholders to reduce preventable medication harm. The...

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