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null National High-risk Medicines Classification supports medication safety

National High-risk Medicines Classification supports medication safety


Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has published the National High-risk Medicines Classification. The aim of the classification is to support and promote medication safety in social and health care.

High-risk medicines refer to medicines that require special attention. When used correctly, they may not cause more hazardous situations than other medicines, but their incorrect use may have serious consequences for the patient.

"We hope that the National High-risk Medicines Classification will support wellbeing services counties in ensuring medication safety,” says Project Manager Elsi Similä from Fimea.

"Social and health care units describe and define high-risk medicines that are essential for their own activities in their medication plans. The national classification will help in identifying key high-risk medicines and ensure their safe use. The classification supports the planning and implementation of pharmacotherapies and clinical decision-making."

The information content has been compiled in extensive cooperation with experts

The need for the National High-risk Medicines Classification was already identified in connection with the update of the Safe Pharmacotherapy Guide. The classification that has now been completed has been prepared in cooperation with the Finnish Centre for Client and Patient Safety, project group experts, and experts participating in the Delfoi study. The National Risk Medicines Classification was circulated for public statements in early 2023.

The classification covers many groups of medicines

The classification describes the serious consequences of the medicines included in it and their most significant risks.  The risks related to medicines are mainly based on the properties of a medicine and on deficiencies or human error in the proper use of the medicine and implementation of treatment.

The classification includes medicines that affect blood clotting, insulins and many cancer medicines. The classification does not take into account such things as individual patient groups or medications in specialist fields.

Information put to good use

The information content created during the project requires continuous maintenance and updating based on such things as feedback from users. In addition, development work on the classification will continue in order to make the classification as useful as possible.

The database previously produced by Fimea to support pharmacotherapy for older people, Meds75+, is part of Fimea's Medicines Search and is available as open data. The National High-risk Medicines Classification will be introduced in a similar format.

"Fimea uses these information products to promote medication safety. The National High-risk Medicines Classification is also a strategically important project and as such part of the development work related to the medicines data repository", says Eija Pelkonen, Director General of Fimea.

Content that supports the implementation of the classification will be offered later in the spring, for example in the form of articles and podcasts. A subtitled recording of the webinar intended for health care professionals will also be published.

Read the KAI publication describing the National High-risk Medicine Classification project and the published information content on Fimea's website.

KAI publication 4/2023 (in Finnish, Julkari)

Kansallinen riskilääkeluokitus

National Risk Medicines Classification


Ask more

  • Elsi Similä, Project Manager, tel. +358 29 522 3607
  • Eija Pelkonen, Director General
  • Fimea e-mail addresses are in the format