This interesting editorial highlights the international inconsistency about information on medicine safety and harm, with the product information provided for 20 top-selling medicines varying widely between the US, UK, Canada and Australia. They were the same medicines from the same manufacturers – but apparently with different numbers and types of adverse events. In addition, 15 of these medicines had boxed warnings warning of serious risks in the USA; those in Australia had none. The article explores other deficiencies in the safety information available and makes salutary reading.
Mintzes B. Editorial. Medication safety: opening up the black box. BMJ Qual Saf 2013; published online first 5 July.