1 Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia;
2 Pharmacy Practice Department, College Of Pharmacy, Al Qassim University, Buraidah,Saudi Arabia
Community Pharmacists are one of healthcare professionals who can play an important role in the reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) due to the advantageous position in terms of direct contact with the patients and specialization in medicine. Nevertheless, literatures indicated that ADRs under-reporting are common among community pharmacists in both developed and developing countries.
To assess the knowledge and perception of community pharmacists in Malaysia towards the reporting of ADRs and to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program for improving pharmacist knowledge in ADRs reporting.
A cross-sectional study employing pre and post intervention design was undertaken with a sample of 42 community pharmacists. Changes in scores before and after the completion of the training program in knowledge and perception were measured. Statistical analysis: The data were analyzed by using SPSS version 17.0 software package (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used when ever appropriate. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe the respondents’ demographic information and professional characteristics. Wilcoxon Signed ranks test, Paired sample t test and The McNemar χ2 test were applied to compare the differences in knowledge and perception before and after the educational program whenever appropriate.
Forty-two community pharmacists (CPs) were enrolled in this study. A comparison of CPs knowledge before and immediately after the implementation of the education program showed significant differences. The participating CPs’ mean±SD total scores in the knowledge of pharmacovigilance and ADRs reporting significantly increased compared to the baseline following the intervention 4.6±1.9 to 8.3±1.4 (p<0.001), the possible score in knowledge domain ranged from zero to10. Only a few (n=3, 7%) participants reported that they do not have any ideas of how to report ADR to the relevant authorities in Malaysia compared to pre-intervention case (n= 22, 50%). Upon completion of the education program, more than forty of the respondents (n=19, 45%) believed that they were confident of their knowledge in detection and performing ADRs reporting, in contrast with pre-intervention frequencies, slightly more than fifty percent of the participants agreed that their knowledge in ADR limit their ability to detect and report of ADRs (n= 32, 55%), (N=42, P = 0.004).
The finding of the study indicates the need for designing educational programs for community pharmacists, in order to improve the level of knowledge towards the pharmacovigilance and ADRs reporting process locally.
Keywords: Pharmacovigilance, adverse drug reaction reporting, community pharmacists, educational program, Malaysia.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which
permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the Discipline of Social and
Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia,11800, Minden Pinang, Malaysia; Tel: +60 (0)4 657 0017;
Fax: +60 (0)4 653 4055; E-mail: