Facilitators and barriers towards adverse drug reaction reporting: perspective of Malaysian hospital pharmacists

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To evaluate knowledge, facilitators and barriers towards adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting among hospital pharmacists in Malaysia.


A questionnaire-based survey was conducted during July–August 2009. Survey participants were registered hospital pharmacists from 10 randomly chosen public hospitals. The validated and pilot-tested questionnaire consisted of four parts: demographic data, general knowledge about ADR reporting, attitudes and barriers towards ADR reporting and recommendations to improve ADR reporting.

Key findings

Altogether 300 questionnaires were mailed, and 163 returned (response rate of 54.3%). All respondents (n = 163) believed that ADR reporting is part of their responsibility. The majority (89.6%) claimed to have reported an ADR in the past. Reactions of a serious nature (89.0%), unusual reactions (82.2%) and reactions to a new product (73.6%) were the most frequently cited reasons to report an ADR. Factors preventing pharmacists reporting ADRs were: insufficient information from the patient (54.6%), reaction assumed to be already well known (48.5%), too busy to report (35.6%) and forgot to report (31.9%). Suggested methods to improve ADR reporting included education and training in ADR detection and reporting (70%) and feedback from the relevant authorities (63.8%). Pharmacists with ≥3 years' working experience were more likely to report an ADR. However, the association was not statistically significant (P = 0.08).


Malaysian hospital pharmacists are well informed about the national pharmacovigilance system and consider ADR reporting to be part of their professional responsibility. Education and training in ADR reporting can be used as one of the planning strategies to improve the reporting rate in Malaysia.

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