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When Direct Health-Care Professional Communications Have an Impact on Inappropriate and Unsafe Use of Medicines

By K. C. Reber, S. Piening, J. E. Wieringa, S. M. J. M. Straus, J. M. Raine, P. A. de Graeff', F. M. Haaijer-Ruskamp and P. G. M. Mol


<p>Serious safety issues relating to drugs are communicated to health-care professionals via Direct Health-Care Professional Communications (DHPCs). We explored which characteristics determined the impact of DHPCs issued in the Netherlands for ambulatory-care drugs (2001-2008). With multiple linear regression, we examined the impact on the relative change in new drug use post-DHPC of the following: time to DHPC, trend in use, degree of innovation, specialist drug, first/repeated DHPC, DHPC template, and type of safety issue. DHPCs have less impact on use of specialist drugs than nonspecialist drugs (P <0.05).The DHPCs' impact increased after availability of a template emphasizing the main problem (P <0.05), and for safety issues with a risk of death and/or disability (both P <0.05) (adjusted R-2 = 0.392). Risk communication can be effective, specifically in case of well-structured information, and very serious safety issues. Effectiveness may improve by tailoring DHPCs and adding other communication channels, for example for drugs that are increasingly being used.</p>

Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1038/clpt.2012.262
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