Determinants for healthcare professionals to take action on Direct Healthcare Professional Communications (DHPCs)

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Direct Healthcare Professional Communications (DHPCs) are letters that are distributed by pharmaceutical companies to inform healthcare professionals (HCPs) about new safety information. HCPs do not always act on such information. This study aimed to assess whether HCP characteristics and their perceptions towards safety information are associated with the extent of action taking in response to DHPCs in Europe.

In the context of the Strengthening Collaboration for Operating Pharmacovigilance in Europe (SCOPE) Joint Action, general practitioners (GPs), cardiologists and pharmacists from nine European countries (Denmark, Spain,
Croatia, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK) completed a web-based survey. HCPs were asked how often they take action in response to DHPCs (VAS 0%-100%). This outcome measure was dichotomized on the median per country. Associations between HCP characteristics (gender, profession, years of accreditation) and their perceptions (regarding usefulness of DHPCs, pharmaceutical companies as source, preference for letter as channel) and the outcome measure were tested using logistic regression analysis on the total population and per country.

In general, the 2,645 included HCPs (52% GP, 61% female) reported high levels of action taking (median VAS 83%, range 62% in the Netherlands to 90% in Italy). HCP characteristics were not associated with taking action in analyses of the total population. However, in Ireland pharmacists reported more action taking than GPs (OR 2.21; 95% CI 1.33-3.66). Some associations were observed between HCPs’ perceptions and action taking. A positive view on the usefulness of DHPCs (OR: 3.43; 95% CI 2.58-4.55), on pharmaceutical companies (OR 1.85; 95% CI 1.56-2.20), and preference for letter (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.43-2.04) were associated with more action taking. These associations were similar among the countries, except for Denmark and Sweden.

Other channels and senders may be needed to further improve the impact of DHPCs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEuropean Drug Utilisation Research Group (EuroDURG) Conference 2017: Patients, Medicines, Bytes: Drug Utilisation Research and E-health - University of Strathclyce, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 15-Nov-201717-Nov-2017


ConferenceEuropean Drug Utilisation Research Group (EuroDURG) Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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