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The Canadian Adverse Events Study (Baker et al, 2004) found drug or fluid-related events were the second most common type of adverse events in Canadian hospitals, accounting for 23.6% of the total.  The cost attributed to adverse drug events has been reported to be $4,028 per event (Etchells et al, 2012).  Furthermore, more than half of Canadians are using prescription drugs on a regular basis with 36% taking two or more medications (Health Council of Canada, 2014).

Medication Safety Summit

"We are not, as a country, doing enough to ensure the safe use of medications."

   ​​​​  ​-Medication Safety Summit participant


The Canadian Patient Safety Institute in partnership with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada), hosted a national medication safety summit in Toronto, Ontario, in June 2014, to create the synergy and coordination required to accelerate improvements in safe medication use in Canada.

Arising from the summit, A Medication Safety Action Plan with ​four themes (reporting, learning, and sharing; evidence informed practices; partnering with patients; and technology) was developed and distributed to meeting participants.  A number of organizations volunteered to take lead roles for specific actions.

Action Involved Experts and Organizations​

Five Questions to Ask about your Medications

  • ISMP Canada
  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute
  • Patients for Patient Safety Canada
  • Canadian Pharmacists Association
  • Canadian Society for Hospital Pharmacists

​Medication Incident Reporting in Canada: A White Paper

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information
  • Canadian Medical Protective Association
  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute
  • Central Medication Incidents Registration Organization (Netherlands)
  • College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • Government of New Brunswick
  • Health Insurance Reciprocal of Ontario
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada
  • Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - University of Toronto
  • Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Canada
  • Medical at St. Joseph's Health Centre
  • Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada
  • Ontario Poison Centre, Hospital for Sick Children
  • Patients for Patient Safety Canada
  • Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
  • Renown Health
  • Shoppers Drug Mart


Check back for progress updates on A Medication Safety Action Plan.