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

KC Reber, S Piening, JE Wieringa, Sabine Straus, JM Raine, PA de Graeff', FM Haaijer-Ruskamp, PGM Mol

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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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-03-77-02

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