[Medication safety in Switzerland: Where are we today?]

Fishman, Liat; Brühwiler, Lea; Schwappach, David (2018). [Medication safety in Switzerland: Where are we today?]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 61(9), pp. 1152-1158. Springer-Medizin-Verlag 10.1007/s00103-018-2794-z

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Empirical research shows that medication safety is an urgent area of concern in the Swiss healthcare system. Adverse drug events and medication errors are common and risks such as polypharmacy are widespread. No comprehensive national strategy explicitly dedicated to medication safety exists in Switzerland. The federalist system of government with relative autonomy of the cantons relating to healthcare laws influences the implementation of national healthcare reforms, also to the disadvantage of medication safety. Direct dispensing of drugs by the prescribing physician is permitted in almost all German-speaking cantons. This special feature of the Swiss system implies specific challenges for medication safety. Nonetheless, there is an increasing number of national activities dealing with various aspects of medication safety, such as the "progress!" programmes within the National Quality Strategy. Within the National Research Programme "Smarter Health Care" (NRP 74) of the Swiss National Science Foundation, several research projects are currently focusing on medication safety. Clinical pharmacy activities in hospitals are relatively widespread. In the primary care sector, pharmaceutical care practice and the corresponding competencies for pharmacists are being further developed. However, a comprehensive strategy, priority-setting and effectiveness studies involving all stakeholders are required in order for the Swiss healthcare system, to meet the challenges facing medication safety in a forward-looking manner.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwappach, David


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Tanya Karrer

Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2018 12:07

Last Modified:

12 May 2022 09:44

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Care coordination Drug Safety Medication safety Quality of care Switzerland





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