Education and patient reporting

Lareb is the national centre for spontaneous reporting in the Netherlands. At the centre we have more than 15 years of experience in the field of patient reporting, both concerning the process and scientific evaluation thereof. Since the appointment of a chair of Pharmacovigilance at the University of Groningen in 2008, we have increasingly been involved in implementing pharmacovigilance into undergraduate curricula for medical and pharmacy students.

Capacity building for pharmacovigilance through education

Spontaneous reporting relies on the voluntary reporting of adverse drug reactions from health care professionals and patients. It is therefore essential that reporters gain knowledge in recognizing, managing and reporting of adverse drug reactions. For most pharmacovigilance centres, the number of health care professionals to train wildly exceeds the resources available. Choices have to be made on which group to focus. At Lareb, we have come to the conclusion that it is important to train health care professionals as early as possible in their career. It is easier to teach a student a certain behavior than to change the behavior of an older health care professional. Lareb developed a pharmacovigilance curriculum for medical, pharmacy and paramedical students.

Patient reporting

Introducing patient reporting to pharmacovigilance was initially described as a means to decrease under-reporting rates. There is a substantial underreporting by health care professionals and targeting patients as reporters might help to increase reporting rates which in turn might speed the detection of ADRs. However the contribution of patient reporting to pharmacovigilance goes beyond a quantitative contribution. Studies have shown that patient reports have brought a new dimension to pharmacovigilance. First of all, patient provide first-hand information about the ADR, and because the lack of a professional filter, their reports can lead to better understanding of the patient's experience of an ADR.

The Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb has more than 15 years experience of processing patient reports. We also conduct research on the contribution of patient reports to pharmacovigilance.

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