In keeping with the recent spate of MHRA campaigns to improve adverse event reporting of drug reactions by patients and healthcare professionals, it seems other health authorities around the world have also taken a similar stance. The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) has launched a local pharmacovigilance programme to monitor adverse reactions to drugs and minimise the occurrence of medication errors throughout the emirate. It has called on HCPs to submit reports detailing patients’ adverse reactions to drugs or immunisations as well and medication errors.

Cases should include side effects, medication misuse, overdoses and unexpected reactions and lack of effectiveness of medicines. In 2016, a total of 616 ADRs and 1,102 medication errors were reported. According to reports received by the Pharmacovigilance Centre between 2013 and 2015, experts determined 47% of ADRs were due to antibiotics, followed by anti-inflammatory medications at 19%, while painkillers and gastrointestinal drugs accounted for 5% of cases. Statistics revealed the greatest number of cases were reported by physicians, followed by pharmacists and then nurses.

Haad are committed facilitate and unify communication channels and develop a combined database of reports and according to one expert Dr Khaled Al Jaberi, director of the Health Regulation Department at Haad, “The authority encourages all healthcare providers to use their electronic reporting system, which will ease the reporting process, as well as data centralisation and analysis”. He also emphasised that to improve the quality of healthcare services and safety standards “Haad strives to implement the pharmacovigilance programme to guarantee and safety of medicines for the nationals and residents of the emirate”.