No one can deny that a pharmacist’s job and responsibilities are overwhelmingly challenging. Keeping people safe while administering drugs that have the potential to harm is a balancing at that requires constant attention and vigilance.
This very vigilance has a name, and it is pharmacovigilance. This is a special science in the pharmaceutical arts that boils down to one thing: drug safety. Primarily, pharmacovigilance deals with error prevention and the detection and assessment of adverse drug reactions, or ADRs. This is one of the most important things a pharmacist does, and yet a recent study by researchers in Brazil has shown that pharmacists are simply not getting the pharmacovigilance training that they need.
Lack of Pharmacovigilance Training in Pharmacists Leads to Problems for Consumers
The Brazilian study found that adverse drug reactions were being grossly underreported, and attributed the poor reporting primarily to a lack of drug safety analysis and pharmacovigilance. The study cited several causes for low ADR reporting numbers, but most pointed back to this particular shortcoming, including:
- Not knowing how to report ADRs, or which ADRs to report
- Uncertainty of whether an ADR is the direct result of a certain drug
- Lack of interest or time in pursuing ADR notifications
- Fear of a lawsuit
While there are entire institutions dedicated to pharmacovigilance, pharmacists are truly the front line of defense as well as reporting between the FDA and consumers.
The study did note that simplifying the reporting process could assist physicians and pharmacists, as well as offering clarification on which reactions should be reported and how it could impact consumers and the healthcare industry.
Why Pharmacovigilance Is Important to You and Your Family
With an ever-increasing lineup of pharmaceuticals becoming available, the possibility for drug interactions increases exponentially. Everyone reacts differently to certain drugs or combinations of drugs, and it is critical that the prescription drug industry—as well as healthcare professionals—are aware of each adverse reaction in order to regulate each product.
When pharmacists neglect to report known ADRs, it can impact others who could face similar reactions. If you or your family have experienced an adverse drug reaction, it could be the result of a complacent pharmacist who ignored their duty to report and protect. If you have been injured, connect with our law firm today by clicking on the live chat feature.