Drug Safety

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 415–423

An ABC of Drug-Related Problems

  • Ronald H.B. Meyboom
  • Marie Lindquist
  • Antoine C.G. Egberts
Leading Article

DOI: 10.2165/00002018-200022060-00001

Cite this article as:
Meyboom, R.H., Lindquist, M. & Egberts, A.C. Drug-Safety (2000) 22: 415. doi:10.2165/00002018-200022060-00001


The problems relating to the use of medicines are manifold. They may differ in pharmacological, pathological, epidemiological and legal respects, and may have different consequences, for example, as regards scientific study, regulation or rational use. Pharmacovigilance is concerned with all such problems: adverse effects and interactions as well as problems relating to ineffectiveness, inappropriate use, counterfeiting, dependence or poisoning.

Practically all medicine-related problems can be classified in one basic system, taking into account their characteristics and distinctions. This system distinguishes between appropriate and inappropriate drug use, dose-related and dose-unrelated problems, and types A (‘drug actions’), B (‘patient reactions’) and C (‘statistical’) adverse effects. This classification may serve as an educational tool and may be useful in when choosing a study method and for the design of effective strategies in pharmacovigilance.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald H.B. Meyboom
    • 1
  • Marie Lindquist
    • 2
  • Antoine C.G. Egberts
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Foundation LAREBMH ’s-HertogenboschThe Netherlands
  2. 2.The Uppsala Monitoring CentreWHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug MonitoringUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of PharmacyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.TweeSteden’ HospitalTilburgThe Netherlands