Awareness among European healthcare professionals of four recent drug safety issues

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    Awareness among European healthcare professionals of four recent drug safety issues

    PhD Sieta T. de Vries1, PhD Petra Denig1, PhD Peter G.M. Mol1,2
    1Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands
    2Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board, The Netherlands

    Knowledge of healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) awareness of specific drug safety issues and factors that are associated with awareness can help to improve safety communication strategies. This study aimed to assess European HCPs’ awareness of specific safety issues, sources through which HCPs had become aware, and which HCP characteristics are associated with awareness.

    In the context of the Strengthening Collaboration for Operating Pharmacovigilance in Europe (SCOPE) Joint Action, a web-based survey was distributed among HCPs from nine European countries (i.e. Denmark, Spain, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK). HCPs were asked about awareness of the recent safety issues of combined hormonal contraceptives, diclofenac, valproate, and ivabradine. HCPs aware of a specific safety issue were additionally asked to indicate the source through which they had become aware. Associations between HCP characteristics (gender, profession, years of accreditation) and awareness of each of the safety issues were assessed using a penalized maximum likelihood logistic regression analysis per country.

    In total, 3,620 HCPs were included ranging from 68 from Denmark to 1,075 from Spain. Awareness was highest for the diclofenac safety issue (91%). Variation across the countries was largest for the ivabradine safety issue
    (range 24% in Sweden to 87% in Italy). Direct Healthcare Professional Communications were the main source of awareness followed by information on a website or in a newsletter but this differed across the countries. Of the
    assessed HCP characteristics, profession was mostly associated with awareness. Cardiologists were less aware than general practitioners, except for the ivabradine issue where cardiologists in the Netherlands were more aware than general practitioners (OR 8.79; 95% CI 2.64-29.22).

    In several countries, additional strategies are needed to improve awareness of safety issues. DHPCs may not be sufficient to reach cardiologists when communicating safety issues of drugs outside their field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 3-Oct-2017
    EventFIGON Dutch Medicines Days - Ede, Netherlands
    Duration: 2-Oct-20173-Oct-2017


    ConferenceFIGON Dutch Medicines Days

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