Editorial : Medication safety and interventions to reduce patient harm in low- and middle-income countries

Mahmoud, Mansour Adam and Meyer, Johanna C and Awaisu, Ahmed and Fadare, Joseph and Fathelrahman, Ahmed Ibrahim and Saleem, Fahad and Aljadhey, Hisham and Godman, Brian (2023) Editorial : Medication safety and interventions to reduce patient harm in low- and middle-income countries. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 13. 1124371. ISSN 1663-9812 (https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.1124371)

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The safe and rational use of medicines is crucial, especially from the context of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where medicine spending accounts for a considerable proportion of healthcare costs, and much of this is out-of-pocket expenditure (1, 2). Consequently, medicines should not be over-used or misused as seen with antibiotics in ambulatory care among patients with self-limiting illnesses or in hospitals for patients with COVID-19 (3, 4), as this increases antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with its considerable impact on morbidity, mortality, and cost (5-7). Similarly, efforts are needed to improve medicine use in patients with chronic non-communicable diseases, including enhancing adherence to prescribed medicines, to improve outcomes and reduce complications (8-11). Alongside this, reducing the potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) especially among patients with multiple co-morbidities. Furthermore, increased knowledge about possible adverse drug events (ADE) can reduce medication errors and adverse drug reactions (ADRs), with their considerable impact on morbidity, mortality and cost (12-14). However, major issues with medication safety, including ADRs and medication errors, are severely hampered by inadequate patient education and counselling, low health literacy and considerable under reporting of ADRs (15), with issues of medication misadventure more prevalent in LMICs. It was against this background, that the need for this Research Topic was identified, which resulted in 19 original research papers. It is hoped that this collection of original papers will provide future guidance to reduce patient harm, improve the care of patients and their quality-of-life.