Signals Generated

These results of the analysis of signals generated by the IMMP are preliminary. There were 153 signals recorded from the 10-year period. Of these, 132 (86%) were notified to the MARC prior to any publication found in the international literature. Eighty-six (56%) of the signals have since been strengthened or confirmed by at least one non-IMMP publication. In 72 (47%) instances the IMMP publication was the first report of the signal identified and in 23 (18%) it was the second. On 39 (25%) occasions the MARC recommended action after considering the signals. These included articles in Prescriber Update (a Ministry of Health bulletin), writing to pharmaceutical companies for further information, changes to data sheets, and further investigation.

Many of the signals were first published in articles in Prescriber Update or the NZ Family Physician published by the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. The topics of these articles are listed in Tables 27.5 and 27.6. An example of the signals generated from the IMMP is given in Table 27.7 for sumatriptan. Signals published in the wider medical literature include ACE inhibitors and anaemia (Edwards and Coulter, 1989), the intestinal effects of captopril (Edwards et al., 1992), psoriasis with ACE inhibitors (Coulter and Pillans, 1993), hypertension with moclobemide (Coulter and Pillans, 1995b) and fluoxetine and extrapyramidal effects (Coulter and Pillans, 1995a).

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