This post was written by Paul Sheives.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the Safe Use Initiative, a program aimed at reducing the likelihood of preventable harm from medication use. The program is summarized in an FDA report entitled “FDA’s Safe Use Initiative – Collaborating to Reduce Preventable Harm from Medicines.” The report outlines FDA’s intention to identify safety issues linked to preventable harm via collaboration with health care professionals and other stakeholders. The report also provides examples of several risk-reduction areas in which Safe Use collaborations may prove useful, including evaluating consumer medication information, communicating about the risk of inadvertent overexposure to acetaminophen, implementing safeguards against surgery fires caused by alcohol-based surgical preps, and avoiding contamination of multiple use medication vials.