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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 12137

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: news

Baxter Introduces New Drug Safety Packaging for High Alert Medications
PharmaLive 2007 Dec 3

Full text:

Enhanced Labels the First of Several Initiatives Aimed at Medication Error Reduction

DEERFIELD, Ill. and LAS VEGAS, Nev., December 3, 2007 – Baxter Healthcare Corporation introduced a new drug safety initiative at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Midyear Clinical Meeting, held December 2 – 6. The initiative is intended to help reduce medication errors by creating enhanced packaging that provides additional safeguards to assist clinicians in the correct identification of critical medications.

Beginning with new, enhanced drug labeling launched in October 2007, Baxter will be launching several new products and technologies in the coming years designed to help reduce the risk of medication errors.

As one of the top five high alert medications as designated by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices, Heparin Sodium Injection, a commonly used anticoagulant, is the first medication offered with the new enhanced label. The label features an increase of 20 percent font size, a unique color combination, and a large red cautionary tear-off label.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 1.5 million Americans are injured each year from medication errors in hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics/surgery centers. An estimated 7,000 Americans die each year as a result of medication errors.

Incorrect drug administration accounts for the largest proportion of harmful medication errors. Eight high alert products, including insulin, morphine, and heparin, were involved in more than 31 percent of all medication errors that caused harm to patients. High alert medications bear a heightened risk of causing significant harm to patients when administered incorrectly or in error. Sixty percent of life threatening or lethal errors involve intravenous (IV) drugs such as heparin.

“As a market leader in injectable drugs in hospitals and critical care settings, we are in a position to help address the occurrence of medication errors by providing clinicians with additional safety features to assist them in correctly identifying and properly administering critical medications to patients,” said David Bonderud, U.S. Region president of Baxter’s Medication Delivery business.

Baxter conducted multiple interviews with more than 100 pharmacists, physicians and nurses to identify areas for improvement . The feedback received from health care professionals guided the design of the new vial packaging.

In research conducted after the three-phase development program, clinicians indicated that the new packaging design enhancements addressed the current clinical needs for safer injectable drug administration and could help reduce medication errors.

“Health care professionals played a vital role in the design of the new label and we look forward to their continued input to gain key insights that will help in the development of future design enhancements, ” said Bonderud.

About Heparin


Heparin Sodium Injection, USP is indicated for: anticoagulant therapy in prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension; Heparin Sodium Injection, USP is not a catheter lock-flush solution product. It is not to be used for lock flush.


Heparin Sodium Injection, USP should NOT be used in patients with: severe thrombocytopenia; when suitable blood coagulation tests, e.g., the whole blood clotting time, partial thromboplastin time, etc, cannot be performed at appropriate intervals, an uncontrolled active bleeding state, except when this is due to disseminated intravascular coagulation. Heparin is not intended for intramuscular use. This product contains the preservative benzyl alcohol and is not recommended for use in neonates. Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis can occur up to several weeks after the discontinuation of heparin therapy. Heparin Resistance: Increased resistance to heparin is frequently encountered in fever, thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, infections with thrombosing tendencies, myocardial infarction, cancer, and in postsurgical patients. Increased risk to older patients, especially women: A higher incidence of bleeding has been reported in patients, particularly women, over 60 years of age.

About Baxter

Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX). Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists healthcare professionals and their patients with treatment of complex medical conditions, including hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other indications. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.

For More Information

Media Contacts Erin Gardiner, (847) 948-4210

Christopher King, (847) 948-4274


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