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Press Release

ASHP Awarded FDA Contract to Improve Safety of Intravenous and Oral Liquid Medications

Standardization Contract Is Part of FDA’s Safe Use Initiative

9/17/2015

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded ASHP a three-year contract to develop and implement national standardized concentrations for intravenous (IV) and oral liquid medications. The contract is part of FDA’s Safe Use Initiative, an effort to reduce preventable harm from medications by creating and facilitating public and private collaborations within the healthcare community. ASHP’s work with FDA on this project will build from the outcomes of the 2008 ASHP IV Safety Summit, including an ongoing collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

In the U.S., medication errors are estimated to harm at least 1.5 million patients per year, according to the Institute of Medicine. These errors, many of which involve IV and oral liquid medications, are especially prevalent during transitions of care.

“ASHP is pleased to be partnering with the FDA on this important project,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon), FASHP. “A public-private partnership of this nature, which combines the expertise and resources of the FDA and ASHP, will undoubtedly result in safer and more effective medication therapy outcomes for patients in the U.S. and beyond.”

Starting in October of this year, ASHP will collaborate with member experts and other stakeholders to develop nationally standardized concentrations for IV and oral liquid medications. ASHP will provide progress updates on a routine basis and is scheduled to present the FDA with final standardized lists for adult-based IV continuous infusions (including drug concentrations and associated dosage units) and for compounded oral liquid medications (drug concentration) by March 30, 2016.

About ASHP

ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 40,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website, www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, www.SafeMedication.com.
 
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For questions, comments, or more information on this article, please contact the Public Relations Office via telephone at 301-664-8799 or via email at press@ashp.org.
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