Health — 30 May 2011
Doctors in India too slow to report adverse drug reactions

Doctors in India too slow to report adverse drug reactions.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers in India are finding it difficult to get adequate feedback from local physicians whenever a patient has an ADR or adverse drug reaction to a prescribed medicine. This seems to be a unique situation caused by local culture and perceptions.

Dr. Viraj Suvarna, Medical Director at Boehringer Ingelheim who is speaking at the Pharmacovigilance India Summit has said that while multinational Pharmaceutical companies which operate in India clearly have very stringent adverse event reporting requirements, doctors are reluctant to report adverse events.

“Doctors in India don’t really understand the difference between an adverse event and an adverse drug reaction. So they believe that they need to report only if that particular event has a causal relationship to that product in question. Despite the fact that we’ve trained so many doctors over so many years, one will still find them to be a little uneducated or a little hesitant to report because sometimes they feel that they could land into a medical-legal complication because once they report, then they think that that report will be processed and it could go against them”, added Dr Suvarna.

This culture of reluctance in reporting is now beginning to change thanks to the Ministry of Health in India, which has launched a complete roadmap for a proactive pharmacovigilance system which will increase the awareness about the benefits of adverse event reporting.

This programme is called the National Pharmacovigilance Programme and it is funded by the WHO to foster the reporting culture in India and make sure that people are receiving safe medicine.

Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are the sixth global leading cause of death among hospitalised patients and the incidence of serious ADRs in hospitalised patients is 6.7 per cent (Joshi et al).

India is the world’s second most populated country with over one billion potential drug consumers, and a value of US $ 1 billion worth of clinical trials, therefore it is very important to focus the attention of the medical community on the importance of the adverse drug reporting to ensure maximum patient health.

This first edition of Pharmacovigilance India taking place from 27-29 June 2011 at the Hilton Mumbai International Airport will explore the National Pharmacovigilance Programme in further detail and provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to meet, network, do business and share industry best-practices. Pharmacovigilance India Summit features informative presentations and case-studies from high profile speakers, including Dr. Y. K. Gupta, National Coordinator of Pharmacovigilance Programme of India and other key speakers from organisations such as International Society of Pharmacovigilance, UK, Bayer Healthcare Global R & D Centre, China, Boehringer Ingelheim, Baxter Healthcare, Asia Pacific, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, USA, Panacea Biotec, Wockhardt, Novartis Healthcare, Astellas Pharma, India, Bayer Healthcare, UCB, India, and Biocon, India.

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David Harvey, Editor

David Harvey left school at 17 and went straight into newspapers as a cadet reporter. (He also a keen photographer and learned both trades.) He worked as a photojournalist in Hong Kong and as a war correspondent in Vietnam during the war. He moved to Australia in the late 1970s and got involved in I.T. during the mid-80s. This website is his latest venture here, combining news-gathering with the power of the internet. See: news-reporter

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