What is a medication error?
A medication error is an involuntary failure in the medication treatment process that leads to, or might cause harm to the patient. It most often relates to errors in the prescription, dispensing, storage, preparation or administration of a medication. These errors are a cause of major concern to public health.
One should be careful not to confuse a medication error with a medical error: a medication error relates to the medicine itself, while a medical error concerns the medical act taken.
Why notify medication errors to the FAMHP?
The aim of notifying medication errors is not to penalise the originator of such an error, but rather to evaluate the cause of the error and, if possible, how such an error can be prevented from recurring. Adapting the packaging or label of the medication is one example.
It is important to notify all medication errors, whether they have resulted in adverse reactions or not. Notifying potential risks of medication errors and detected errors is also valuable for public health.
How to notify medication errors to the FAMHP?
- Errors not leading to adverse reactions
Potential or actual medication errors without adverse reaction can be notified by e-mail at
- Errors leading to adverse reactions
If a medication error has led to an adverse reaction, the traditional notification system should be used and the context of the medication error outlined. Patients,doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses and midwives may notify the FAMHP of any presumed adverse reaction, as well as any adverse reaction arising from a medication error context, using the online system at www.notifieruneffetindesirable.be, or by completing the notification form on the FAMHP’s website.
Questions relating to patient notifications may be sent to ADR@fagg-afmps.be.
If a medication error or risk of medication error is due to the packaging or labelling of the medication, you can add a photo of it to your e-mail. This will help us evaluate the risk of medication error.
Urgent medical questions
If you have urgent questions relating to necessary measures in the event of a medication error, please call the Poison Control Centre (Centre Antipoisons – Antigifcentrum). A doctor is available 24/7, free of charge calls from within Belgium on + 32 70 245 245.
Medication error notifications are collected at a European level. This large-scale collaboration makes it possible to implement similar corrective measures in all EU Member States.