Reactions 1704, p5 - 2 Jun 2018 UK surveillance of home-delivered medicines "not good enough" The quality of drug surveillance for specialised medicines delivered via local homecare companies is "currently not good enough", say researchers from the UK. In a recent editorial published in The BMJ, Mr Anthony Matthews and his colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine acknowledged that prescribing of specialised medicines via homecare services is a rapidly expanding market (value >£1.5 billion in 2016), and that such services "have become an increasing priority for the NHS [National Health Service]". Delivering drugs directly to patients increases accessibility to patients with long-term conditions (e.g. multiple sclerosis), and also saves the government money as they are free of sales tax. Mr Matthews and his colleagues distributed questionnaires to 126 acute hospital trusts in England, but only 47 (37%) responded. Of these, 28 of the respondent trusts claimed that their hospital pharmacies processed all of the homecare medicines dispensed. However, Mr Matthews and his colleagues expressed their concerns that the proportion of hospital-monitored homecare medicines "may be even lower in the 63% of trusts that did not respond". They emphasised that "this situation seriously compromises the validity of large scale pharmacovigilance studies in the post-licensing phases of these medications". Currently, there is a lack of connection between hospital prescribing systems and patient clinical records – making it difficult to assess the true incidence of drug- induced adverse reactions. While commercial homecare providers are expected to report suspected ADRs to the UK’s MHRA (via its Yellow Card Scheme), Mr Matthews and his colleagues noted that it is imperative to record the source of these reports (i.e. employer of the reporter) in order to identify any potential under-reporting. The current surveillance system for homecare- delivered medicines "is so weak that it is a ticking time bomb", and "urgent action is needed to protect both, and to fully understand the benefit-risk profile of new and innovative medications", concluded Mr Matthews and his colleagues. Matthews A, et al. Safety of medicines delivered by homecare companies. BMJ 361: [2 pages], 22 May 2018. Available from: URL: https://doi.org/10.1136/ bmj.k2201 803324517 0114-9954/18/1704-0001/$14.95 Adis © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved Reactions 2 Jun 2018 No. 1704
Reactions Weekly – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 2, 2018
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