Challenges impacting the reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions among healthcare professionals: Improving pharmacovigilance in Nigeria

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Anaedu Chibuikem Henry, Prosper
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The thesis aims to evaluate factors pertaining to reporting Adverse Drug Reactions
(ADRs) among healthcare professionals- medical doctors and pharmacists- in Nigeria
by conducting a questionnaire-based survey and phone interviews for quantitative
and qualitative analysis respectively. To achieve this, the knowledge, awareness and
challenges faced by medical professionals in relation to ADR reporting were
considered in order to determine effective recommendations to improve ADR
reporting practices and pharmacovigilance in Nigeria.
Both groups of healthcare professionals were compared to determine their opinions
on frequency of observed and reported ADRs, reasons for high underreporting rates,
awareness of ADR reporting methods, guidelines and regulations as well as the
NAFDAC regulatory body responsible for handling submitted ADR reports. A total of
104 out of 140 responded to the survey, of whom 53 (75.7%) were medical doctors
and 51 (72.9%) were pharmacists. Interestingly, 34.0% of medical doctors who
responded did not know how to report ADRs compared to just 5.9% of pharmacists
who responded. From the analysis conducted, the pharmacists had better
knowledge, awareness and experience over medical doctors regarding ADR reporting
in Nigeria. However, an overwhelming 90.0% of both groups of respondents opted
for ADR reporting being made compulsory as a professional obligation towards
The inaccessibility of ADR report forms when needed, complex reporting procedures,
busy work schedules and lack of time remained the most challenging factors to ADR
reporting while fear of legal liabilities or the clinical knowledge to identify ADRs were
among the least challenges reported. Organising pharmacovigilance conferences and
continuous education programs to improve awareness among healthcare
professionals and including ADR reporting courses during undergraduate