Marked Involvement Of Pharmacists

In the context of pharmaceutical patient care, pharmacists in the Netherlands are very much involved in ensuring the safe and responsible use of medicines. Pharmacists played an important part in setting up the Lareb Foundation. Today, pharmacists (see Table 24.1) provide about 40% of the reports the Foundation receives.

Most reports are made by community pharmacists, which is perhaps to be expected given the Foundation's background. Hospital pharmacists lag somewhat behind in this respect. Accordingly, the Lareb Foundation has joined forces with the Netherlands Society of Hospital Pharmacists in attempting to encourage greater involvement on the part of its members. One objective is to establish a protocol in hospitals whereby house pharmacists are not only expected to provide effective pharmacotherapy, but will also play a coordinating and facilitating role in terms of the collation and forwarding of adverse drug reaction reports. A survey held in early 2001 indicated that 97% of hospital pharmacists are eager to report any adverse reactions; they know what must be reported and in what way. The complaint that pharmacists are themselves able to provide little or no clinical information in a report has been shown to present no great problem in practice. Often, the good cooperation between doctors and pharmacists will ensure that adequate information can be given, particularly if the relevant report is being made from a hospital situation. If necessary, it is possible to contact the prescribing doctor to obtain further information. That pharmacists are able to provide a complete picture of a patient's prescription history is a significant advantage.

Table 24.1. Sources of reports.

Year Pharmacists Doctors

1996 46.3 53.7

1997 44.9 55.1

1998 44.5 55.5

1999 41.6 58.4

2000 41.1 58.9

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