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A cross-sectional study evaluating the awareness of pharmacovigilance among MBBS interns of a teaching hospital in south India

Mohammed Naseeruddin Nadeem, Ayesha Vaseem, Maliha Maqdoom.

Background: Spontaneous reporting is the backbone of any pharmacovigilance programme. The pharmacovigilance programme of India, started in 2010 has not seen considerable success, owing to underreporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). This can be attributed to a lack of awareness of pharmacovigilance among the healthcare professionals. This study was conducted with the aim to evaluate the level of knowledge, awareness, attitude and practice of pharmacovigilance among interns of a teaching hospital.
Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was done among interns of a teaching hospital. A predesigned Questionnaire was distributed among 150 interns, from which 138 completed questionnaires were considered. The questionnaire consisted of 16 questions dealing with knowledge, awareness, attitude and practice of pharmacovigilance. Data was analysed and presented as percentage of respondents.
Results: 71% interns correctly identified the definition of pharmacovigilance. However, their awareness was deficient, in particular about the existence of an ADR monitoring centre in their own institution (33%). The rate of ADR reporting was immensely inadequate (12 %), which is a matter of utmost concern and requires immediate attention. The factors discouraging them from reporting ADRs were insufficient knowledge about the reporting procedure and a lack of time to report.
Conclusions: Interns lacked the required level of awareness, attitude and practice of pharmacovigilance, which needs to be resolved instantly by organizing frequent training sessions. Continued medical education programmes and workshops may be helpful in increasing their awareness and consequently to improve the rate of spontaneous ADR reporting.

Key words: Adverse drug reactions, Interns, Pharmacovigilance, Spontaneous reporting

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