Background Drug safety has major implications for patients’ lives. However, this concept is still considered new to some healthcare professionals. Objective This study aims to investigate the knowledge and awareness of Saudi healthcare professionals to pharmacovigilance (PV). Setting Governmental and private hospitals at three main cities in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam). Methods A cross-sectional survey among healthcare professionals (pharmacists, physicians, and nurses) within 12 Saudi hospitals was conducted between November and December 2012. The questionnaire consisted of 18 questions assessing the knowledge, awareness, and attitude of healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards science and the concept of PV. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The data were analyzed using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS 9.3). Main outcome measure Knowledge, attitude and practice of HCPs toward pharmacovigilance. Results Three-hundred and thirty-two healthcare professionals completed the survey (response rate 72 %), 110 (34 %) physicians, 106 (33 %) pharmacists, and 104 (32 %) nurses. More than half of the participants (55 %) did not know the correct definition of PV. Two-thirds of the respondents, 207 (65.5 %), had knowledge of the aim of post-marketing surveillance, yet only 113 (36.9 %) were aware that the National Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety Center is the official body for monitoring adverse drug reaction in Saudi Arabia. In addition, 34.7 % agreed that lack of time could be a major barrier for reporting. The majority of the respondents (78.4 %) believed that reporting was a professional obligation and hospitals should have a drug safety department. Conclusions There was a limited knowledge of pharmacovigilance that could have affected reporting incidence. Educational intervention and a practical training program need to be applied by the drug regulatory body as well as health authorities to enhance the pharmacovigilance and drug safety culture in Saudi Arabia.
Healthcare professional Hospital Knowledge and attitude Pharmacovigilance Saudi Arabia
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The authors would like to thank all the health-care professionals who participated in our study.
The study was not funded.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
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