In May 2013 the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb was appointed WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacovigilance in Education and Patient Reporting.
Lareb is the national centre for spontaneous reporting in the Netherlands. At the centre we have more than 10 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.
As a collaborating centre we want to serve as a platform for knowledge transfer by providing training, conducting research and developing best practice for staff active in pharmacovigilance, both at national centres as well as in academia. These activities will hopefully help to further develop pharmacovigilance and increase the awareness of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and the reporting thereof.
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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.
As a WHO Collaborating Centre we will develop and maintain a pharmacovigilance curriculum for medical, pharmacy and paramedical students.
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 10 years experience of processing patient reports. We also conduct research on the contribution of patient reports to pharmacovigilance. As a WHO Collaborating Centre we strive to share knowledge with other in order to promote patient reporting.
On April 23-24 (2015) the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacovigilance in Education and Patient Reporting, organized the first Lareb Conference on Patient Reporting in the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicines in Leiden. The meeting attracted 60 participants from 21 countries discussing a range of subjects relating to patient reporting.