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G303(P) Awareness of healthcare professionals about the possibility of substandard medicines
  1. T Almuzaini,
  2. I Choonara,
  3. H Sammons
  1. Academic Division of Child Health, University of Nottingham, Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, Derby, UK


Aims The number of reports per year by the MHRA of substandard medicines is rising. The aim of this study was to examine healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) willingness to consider and report defective medicines. To gauge their awareness of reporting systems designed for HCPs to report defective medicines, issues related to medicine quality and the official online pharmacy logo (as the marker of legitimate online pharmacies).

Methods This pilot study involved HCPs (paediatric doctors, pharmacists, and children’s nurses) and used self-administered questionnaires containing case scenarios derived from actual reported incidents. An invitation letter and questionnaire were sent to each doctor and nurse working at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, as well as pharmacist members of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Pharmacy Forum.

Results 30 doctors (60% response rate), 31 pharmacists (2.7%), and 47 nurses (42%) responded, a total of 108 HCPs. Only 27 HCPs (23% doctors, 39% pharmacists, and 17% nurses) considered the possibility of manufacturer error when a medicine’s defect was obscure (fentanyl transdermal system with manufacturer error causing excessive release of the medicine). Most HCPs (77%, 74%, and 66%) responded that they would report such an incident via the Yellow Card Scheme, established to gather reports of adverse drug reactions. Most HCPs (100%, 87%, and 81%) agreed with the statement that ‘medicines in the UK are manufactured to a high standard’, though more than one-third (40%, 39%, and 30%) believed that poor-quality medicines existed in the medicine supply chain in the UK. However, only 5% of HCPs were aware of the defective medicines reporting system and few (7%, 16%, and 6%) were aware of the official online pharmacy logo.

Conclusions HCPs’ awareness of the possibility of defective medicines was low. The vast majority were unaware of the defective medicines reporting system and of the official logo of registered online pharmacies in the UK. Findings suggest a need to increase HCPs’ awareness of these measures.

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