A survey of adverse drug reaction reporting by hospital pharmacists to the Committee on Safety of Medicines - the role of pharmacy departments
Objectives - To identify: (1) how adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting by hospital pharmacists is managed, (2) the education of pharmacy personnel on ADR reporting, (3) pharmacy personnel with a specific role in ADR reporting, (4) the numbers of ADR reports sent to the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) and (5) barriers to reporting. Method - Postal questionnaire survey of 250 hospital-based drug information (DI) departments. Setting - All hospital-based DI departments listed in the United Kingdom Drug Information Pharmacists' Group directory. Key findings - A total of 185 questionnaires was returned (74 per cent response). Thirty-five per cent of respondents had a procedure for the reporting of ADRs by pharmacists; 62 per cent of departments actively promoted reporting; 44 per cent of departments reviewed reports before they were sent to the CSM. DI pharmacists were frequently involved in the review of the reports and were usually the designated ADR person. Education on ADR reporting was provided by 69 per cent of departments. Few specialist pharmacists (n = 9) were identified as having established a direct link with the CSM. The majority of departments had submitted five or fewer ADR reports to the CSM. The presence of a procedure, promotion of reporting, education and the presence of a designated ADR person were found to be associated with above average rates of ADR reporting (chi-square test). Conclusion - The survey showed that the role played by pharmacy departments in the area of hospital pharmacist ADR reporting varied considerably but in most cases was insufficiently developed.