Background The UK-based process for spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), known as the ‘Yellow Card Scheme’ (YCS),  encourages reporting by healthcare professionals, patients and the general public. Poor reporting rates are a long-standing limitation of YCS.  The introduction of prescribing rights for pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals has the potential to enhance participation in regulatory pharmacovigilance processes. 
Purpose The aim of this research was to determine nurse and pharmacist prescribers’ perceptions of their training, contribution and potential for enhancement of their pharmacovigilance role.
Materials and Methods Participants completed an online survey on: prescriber demographics (13 questions); pharmacovigilance training (9); YC reporting (13); attitudes toward ADR reporting (13); comments encouraging YC reporting (4). Nurse prescribers were sampled through the Association of Nurse Prescribers (n = 912); pharmacist prescribers (n = 2439) through professional organisations. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS; open question responses analysed thematically. Ethical review was not required.
Results Responses were received from 293 nurse (32.2%) and 320 pharmacist (13.1%) prescribers. Asked whether pharmacovigilance featured in their prescribing training, a third ‘couldn’t remember’ (35.6%); nurses indicated greater recall (p < 0.001). While a third (34.2%) strongly agreed/agreed that they needed further training, fewer (29.6%) were unsure/did not agree that they were competent in pharmacovigilance. Less than half (41.4%) had never submitted a YC. Pharmacist prescribers were more likely to have reported (p < 0.001). A third (35.1%) expressed concern about legal implications of ADRs from their prescribing. Most commonly suggested measures to enhance reporting were publicity and education.
Conclusions Although the response rate was low, respondents provided detailed answers. Respondents felt competent and aware of their pharmacovigilance role with further training indicated. Findings may not be generalisable; no information is available on non-respondents. Increased publicity and education are identified as key measures for enhancing non-medical prescribers’, other healthcare professionals’ and patients’ YC reporting.
Acknowledgements The research team wish to acknowledge and thank MHRA for their funding and also ANP, RPS, NICPLD, NES, CPPE and NPC for their assistance.
MHRA website. What is the Yellow Card Scheme? At http://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/the-yellow-card-scheme/[Accessed October 2010]
BMA Board of Science (2006). Reporting adverse drug reactions: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: British Medical Association
Tonna AP, Stewart D, West B, McCaig D. Pharmacist prescribing in the UK – a literature review of current practise and research. J Clin Pharm Ther 2007; 32: 545–56
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.