Comparing patients' and healthcare professionals' ADR reports after media attention: the broadcast of a Dutch television programme about the benefits and risks of statins as an example

Florence van Hunsel*, Anneke Passier, Kees van Grootheest

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    60 Citations (Scopus)



    center dot More and more countries accept patient reporting in their spontaneous reporting systems.

    center dot Media exposure about drugs can influence patients and health professionals.

    center dot Evaluation of patient reporting of adverse drug reactions is needed to provide further evidence of its benefits.


    center dot Patient reporting compared with reporting by health professionals after media attention about statins.

    center dot Patient reports provide additional insight into impact on daily life, the patient-health professional relationship and general worries next to health professionals' reports.

    To compare adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports from patients and health professionals after the broadcast of a Dutch television consumer programme about the benefits and risks of statins.

    We performed a quantitative and qualitative analysis on patients' and health professionals' reports of ADRs to statins. These reports were received by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb between March 2007 and August 2007. Quantitative data consisted of patient age and gender, number of received reports and characteristics of the report (most frequently reported ADRs, seriousness, drug discontinuation and outcome of the reported reaction). Open text fields in the ADR reporting form were categorized and a content analysis was carried out.

    Media attention led to a peak in patient reporting of ADRs but not in reporting by health professionals. There were no differences between patient and health professional reports in seriousness of the ADRs and drug cessation. Patients reported nonrecovery more often than health professionals. The TV programme is mentioned as a reason for drug discontinuation in almost 30 reports. Patients often felt that they did not receive sufficient information and that their concerns were not adequately addressed by healthcare professionals.

    Media attention affects drug use and ADR reporting by patients. Patient reports can provide additional information, making them a useful source of information next to health professional reports. Content analysis provides vital insights into the impact of statins on daily life, and patients' concerns about adverse reactions should be recognized in reports to national pharmacovigilance centres.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)558-564
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May-2009


    • adverse drug reactions
    • consumers
    • media exposure
    • patients
    • pharmacovigilance
    • statins
    • MEDDRA
    • DRUGS

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