The importance of patient reporting of adverse drug reactions

The value of patient reporting to the pharmacovigilance system: a systematic review

2016 Study Abstract

Current trends in pharmacovigilance systems are veering towards patient involvement in spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The aim of the current systematic review was to identify what is known and what remains unknown with respect to patient reporting to pharmacovigilance systems.

A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, Journals@Ovid and the Cochrane Library. Studies were included if they contained:

  • reviews about patient reporting;
  • evaluation of patient reports to national or supranational pharmacovigilance authorities;
  • a comparison between patient and healthcare professional (HCP) reports submitted to pharmacovigilance authorities;
  • and surveys of patient experiences, opinions and awareness about reporting ADRs.

The methodological quality of the studies was assessed according to principles of Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE).

The value of patient reporting to the pharmacovigilance system: a systematic review, wiley online library, DOI: 10.1111/bcp.13098, 12 October 2016.

Image credit lac-bac.

Thank you Malak Abou Taam for your tweet.

A total of thirty four studies were included. Five of the studies were reviews (two of which systematic reviews), fourteen retrospective observational studies, nine surveys and six applied mixed research methods. Patient reporting has the advantages of bringing novel information about ADRs. It provides a more detailed description of ADRs, and reports about different drugs and system organ classes when compared with HCP reporting. In addition, patients describe the severity and impact of ADRs on daily life, complementing information derived from HCPs. Patient reporting is relatively rare in most countries.

Patient reporting adds new information, and perspective about ADRs in a way otherwise unavailable. This can contribute to better decision-making processes in regulatory activities. The present review identified gaps in knowledge that should be addressed to improve our understanding of the full potential and drawbacks of patient reporting.