Community pharmacists’ knowledge, attitude and practices on adverse drug reaction reporting in South Africa
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Pharmacovigilance involves the management of sub-standard drugs, medication errors, ―off-licence‖ drugs, abuse and misuse, lack of efficacy, poisoning, adverse drug reactions (ADRs), drug interactions, expired stock destruction and drug-related mortality. Regulators and the pharmaceutical industry rely on healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, to report ADRs. The majority of pharmacists work in retail community pharmacies and they are often the first point of contact when ADRs are experienced, since self-medication, misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins and traditional medicines, increase the probability of ADRs. In South Africa (SA) ADRs have been known to cause adult deaths and hospital admissions. In first-world communities, pharmacovigilance is more common among pharmacists, however in South Africa, ADR reporting compares poorly. Studies in the public sector have found that pharmacists lack pharmacovigilance knowledge and underreport ADRs. In comparison the pharmacovigilance knowledge and practice patterns among retail community pharmacists is poorly documented.