Safe and Quality Medicines

Safe & Quality Medicines Overview

The research provides data and evidence on population based estimates and risk prediction of adverse drug events (ADEs) in the primary and secondary care settings. It includes the ADAPT study which is a prospective study examining the prevalence of ADRs in hospital admissions following an adverse drug event. It also includes research using large epidemiological studies of high risk medicines and associated outcomes.


Safe Medicines

Prescribing of medicines is the most common healthcare intervention. In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the percentage of those aged ≥ 65 years with multimorbidity and polypharmacy in Ireland; an increase of 17.8 to 60.4% on 5+ regular medications in the previous 15 years. People with polypharmacy and multimorbidity are at greater risk of medication-related harm and experience a higher burden of healthcare transitions and associated medication-related risks. Healthcare intervention can involve multiple interactions with different healthcare systems and professionals over time and multiple transfers of information about medicines over healthcare interfaces. Associated with these increased interactions is the potentially higher risk of error in transferring information, including medicines discontinuation, addition or change, leading to quality and safe medicines issues. Our research in this area focuses on the prevalence of high risk or potentially problematic or harmful medicines use in the older population. It examines the impact of this on related health outcomes, for example, quality of life, healthcare utilisation, functional impairment and falls.  learn more

ADAPT study

Abstract from BMJ open paper Older people experience greater morbidity with a corresponding increase in medication use resulting in a potentially higher risk of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ADR-related hospital admissions among older patients (≥65 years) and their associated health and cost outcomes. Methods and analysis: The proposed study includes a cross-sectional study of ADR prevalence in all patients aged ≥65 years admitted acutely to a large tertiary referral hospital in Ireland over a 9-month period (2016–2017) and a prospective cohort study of patient-reported health outcomes and costs associated with ADR-related hospital admissions. All acute medical admissions will be screened for a suspected ADR-related hospital admission. A number of validated algorithms will be applied to assess the type, causative medications, preventability and severity of each ADR. Patients who provided consent were followed up 3 months post-discharge to establish patient reported health outcomes (health service use, health related quality of life, adherence) and costs associated with ADR-related hospital admissions. A random sample of patients admitted to hospital without a suspected ADR were also be invited to take part in the study as a control group.  learn more