In 2008, Daniel Budnitz, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program in the division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, enlisted the help of private-sector companies, public health agencies, consumer/patient advocates, and other experts to develop strategies to reduce medication overdosing in children. Under PROTECT (Preventing Overdoses and Treatment Errors in Children Taskforce), the group set out to improve medication packaging to reduce harm from unsupervised ingestions, as well as to refine dosing measures on medication packaging and labeling to reduce errors potentially made by parents/caregivers when administering medications.
The effort has already driven much change—voluntary development and implementation of innovative child-resistant packaging, development and endorsement of new dosing and e-prescribing standards, and the public education campaign www.UpAndAway.org to promote safe medication use and storage.
However, PROTECT’s work is far from over. Budnitz will be renewing his call to the industry for action on June 16 at EastPack during “Drug Dosing Safety, Part 1: The Case for Safety Innovations and Standardized Dosing in mL: Implications for Packaging & Labeling.” In the session, which is part of the "Ensuring Patient Safety & Product Efficacy Through Successful Packaging" track, he’ll share national safety data, advances in medication safety packaging, the move to standardize dosing to milliliters, and the implications of both for packaging and labeling.
Budnitz will then join a panel discussion (“Drug Dosing Safety, Part 2 Panel Discussion: New Child Safety Packaging Features for OTC Packages with Potential Applications for Other Products) highlighting specific policies including a new ASTM test method; implications of new recommendations from USP, FDA, and physician professional organizations; and new frontiers in packaging improvements for over-the-counter (OTC) solid-dose forms and prescription drugs.
Joining Budnitz on the panel will be:
• Mike Reiter, associate director of packaging engineering, Perrigo Co.
• Elizabeth Quaal Hines, MD, clinical fellow, Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, New York University & Bellevue Hospital, New York City Poison Control Center
• Russ Granato, regulatory & quality lab manager, Comar
“The OTC industry voluntarily came together and added flow restrictors to acetaminophen for children, for instance,” says Budnitz. “There are some reasonable places [for PROTECT] to go next, such as children’s cough and cold products, diphenhydramine, and ibuprofen. We are also looking at solid-dose medicines, for example long-acting opioids.” During his presentation he will share a list of the top medications children might access.
Be sure to join us to hear what’s next for PROTECT and to learn how your packaging can help promote dosing safety. Click here to register to join us on June 16!