Project to curb medication errors and adverse drug reactions

The University of South Australia will play a key role in a new $200 million cooperative research centre to improve the health of Australians using digital technology.


Professor Libby Roughead from UniSA’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is leading one of the themes – targeted at curbing medication errors and adverse drug reactions, which costs the health system $1.2 billion a year.


The Federal Government is investing $55 million in the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), in addition to significant cash and in-kind funding from partners.


Sixteen Australian universities are involved in the seven-year project, along with 40 commercial and government organisations in the health, care and disability sectors and a range of technology start-up companies.


Professor Roughead, an expert in unsafe medication practices, says there are an estimated 230,000 medication-related hospital admissions a year which are preventable.


“Adverse drug reactions result in 400,000 GP visits a year and are responsible for 30 per cent of emergency hospital admissions in the elderly,” Prof Roughead says.

“As many as two million people a year have problems with their medicines,” she says. “And if you walked into a hospital in Australia today, there is a 10 per cent probability that you would experience an error in the way your medicines were given.”


The Digital Health CRC will have at least $111 million in cash funding and $118 million in-kind funding to invest over its seven-year life and is expected to create at least 1000 new jobs.


Read more about the new CRC on its website


14 April 2018.