An Exploration of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Physicians toward Pharmacovigilance at Tertiary Care Hospitals in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan

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  • 1 Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS University Islamabad-Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan;
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates;
  • | 3 College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates;
  • | 4 Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshawar, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan;
  • | 5 Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan;
  • | 6 Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

Drug safety assures the effectiveness, safety, and security of drugs, vaccines, and other biologicals to protect public health. Medication-related errors coupled with unjudicial medication practices often cause a catastrophic impact on the healthcare system globally. The present study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of physicians toward pharmacovigilance and barriers to adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting at tertiary care hospitals in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, Pakistan. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among registered doctors working in seven tertiary care hospitals from seven administrative divisions of KP province of Pakistan from July 2019 to March 2020. During the study period, 358 physicians who fulfilled the inclusion criteria and agreed to participate completed and returned the validated structured questionnaires. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied for data analysis. The majority of physicians had poor knowledge (81.3%) regarding pharmacovigilance along with poor reporting practices (94.9%), although (96.5%) had a positive attitude toward ADR reporting. A significant barrier identified was the unavailability of reporting forms (95.9%), whereas mandatory ADR reporting (96.2%) was the major factor to encourage ADR reporting. Physicians aged ≥ 41 and experience ≥ 11 years had significantly more knowledge than other categories (P < 0.001). Significant association (P < 0.001) of physicians’ knowledge and practice were found where 77.2% of the participants having poor knowledge reported poor practices. Physicians’ understanding of pharmacovigilance was suboptimal, although they have a positive attitude toward ADR reporting. Thus, there is a need for continuous education and training programs to support pharmacovigilance activities that could improve physicians’ understanding.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Shujaat Ali Khan, Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS University Islamabad-Abbottabad Campus, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, E-mail: drshujatalikhan@cuiatd.edu.pk or Khezar Hayat, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan, E-mail: Khezar.hayat@uvas.edu.pk.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors’ addresses: Muhammad Junaid Hassan Sharif, Ghulam Murtaza, Abdul Mannan, Xianju Huang, and Shujaat Ali Khan, Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS University Islamabad-Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, E-mails: junaidhassan@cuiatd.edu.pk, gmdogar356@gmail.com, amannan@cuiatd.edu.pk, xianju@mail.scuec.edu.cn, and drshujatalikhan@cuiatd.edu.pk. Zelal Kharaba, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates, E-mail: zelal.kharaba@aau.ac.ae. Nihal Abdalla Ibrahim and Manal Buabeid, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates, E-mails: n.ibrahim@ajman.ac.ae and m.buabeid@ajman.ac.ae. Mohammad Ismail, Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshawar, Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, E-mail: ismailrph@uop.edu.pk. Khezar Hayat, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan, and Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, E-mail: khezar.hayat@uvas.edu.pk.

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