KNOWLEDGE ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF PHARMACOVIGILANCE WITHIN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND DRUG REGULATORY ORGANIZATION IN CAMEROON
Estella Achick Tembe Fokunang, Bayaga Herve, Tchadji Mayoudom Vanessa Edwige, Nene Ahidjo, Tabi Yves Omgba, Bruna Beri Mbonn Njeba, Lovet Benyella Fokunang, Marie Jose Essi, Marie Therese Abena Obama Ondoua and Charles Ntungwen Fokunang
The drug discovery and development processes are designed to guarantee that medicines have the right quality, safety and efficacy. Unfortunately, the number of patients and volunteers who are exposed to drugs at approval gives only a small part of the story of adverse effects. It is therefore, mandatory in understanding the safety of medicines before and after approval by regulatory bodies. This post marketing surveillance can only be finally achieved after the drug is on the market through pharmacovigilance data. Health professionals, patients, drug manufacturers and drug regulatory authorities are therefore highly involved in the practice of pharmacovigilance (PHV). Cameroon imports 95 % of drugs and health care products. Therefore, an effective understanding of the knowledge, attitude and practice of Pharmacovigilance within the health sector by actors, would enhance the elaboration of the development of a good collaborative pharmacovigilance system platform in any country. This study has as objective to investigate the knowledge, attitude and practice of pharmacovigilance within health personnel, pharmaceutical companies and drug regulatory organs of the public health sector in Cameroon. A cross sectional, descriptive and analytical study was conducted in the Yaoundé Central Hospital (a Reference hospital), 50 pharmacies of the Mfoundi District and in 11 Pharmaceutical company representative offices in Yaoundé, and the Drug regulatory organ in Cameroon. The survey was conducted using a pre- tested self- administered questionnaire. A well-structured questionnaire for each study groups were. developed and used to pull data from the different study group. The data for health professionals and pharmaceutical companies was entered and analyzed using Epi-Info Version 3.5.4 statistical software and presented using Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. A total of 162 professionals composed of 11 (6.8%) Pharmaceutical companies representative office supervisors, 101(62.3%) Hospital personnel and 50(30.9%) Pharmacy personnel. These populations were subdivided into Hospital personnel comprising 8(4.9%) Specialists, 47(29%) General practitioners, 10(6.2%) Dentists, 30(18.5%) Nurses and 6(3.7%) midwives. Pharmacy personnel comprised of; 4(2.5%) Advanced level, 3(1.9%) HND (Higher National Diploma) or pharmacy technicians, 4(2.5%) bachelors holders and 39(24.1%) pharmacists. In the general appreciation of knowledge, 58% of pharmacy personnel, 52.9% of hospital personnel and 65.7% of pharmaceutical company representative supervisors had the right appreciation. For attitudes, 52% of pharmacy personnel, 43.4% of hospital personnel and 53.3% of pharmaceutical company representative supervisors had the expected results. For practice, 25.1% of pharmacy personnel, 17.5% of hospital personnel and 44.6% of pharmaceutical company representative supervisors had the right practice. This summed up to give a general appreciation of 33% for pharmacy personnel, 28% for hospital personnel and 39% for pharmaceutical companies, had a better appreciation of pharmacovigilance. Generally, there was little applicable knowledge which determined the poor attitudes developed towards pharmacovigilance among the health professionals and pharmaceutical companies leading to poor practice. Given that these are key actors in the pharmacovigilance system, these results are seen to cause the problem of underdevelopment in our Pharmacovigilance systems. This study calls for the need to scale up the technical platform and organization of a well-developed pharmacovigilance system in Cameroon.
Keywords: Adverse drug reactions, Health Professional, Pharmacy personnel, Pharmaceutical company, Drug regulators, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
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