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Good healthcare requires more attention for adverse drug reactions

Date: 25 March 2015
Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) can have a major impact on the health and well-being of patients. Unfortunately, sufficient attention for ADRs in healthcare is often lacking, according to prof. dr. Eugène van Puijenbroek in his inaugural lecture on 10 March. “More attention for ADRs implies that healthcare professionals will be able to have easy access to the appropriate knowledge and will be able to apply this in their daily routine. For obtaining this knowledge it is crucial that healthcare providers report ADRs. The slight downward trend in reporting by healthcare professionals is therefore somewhat bothersome."
In his lecture Puijenbroek made a plea for a central place for ADRs in healthcare. Both patients and caregivers also have need for detailed information on this topic. Examples are the duration and severity of symptoms, risk factors and impact on the quality of life. This calls for broadening the scope of studies in drug safety since this information of often not provided in the Summary of Product Characteristics.
Reports of ADRs have long been an important source of information to get a good impression of how ADRs occur in daily practice. Willingness of caregivers to report ADRs is therefore crucial. In addition, a more proactive approach in gathering knowledge about side effects by means of dedicated studies is needed. In this way it will be possible to respond more effectively to current safety issues since the right information can be collected in a short time span.
Obviously, more attention to these topics is needed in training and education, allowing caregivers to provide the correct information when patients suffer from ADRs.

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