Research Topic

Reducing the Harm of Medication - Recent Trends in Pharmacovigilance

About this Research Topic

This present Research Topic, ‘Reducing the Harm of Medication - Recent trends in pharmacovigilance’, will be a continuation from our first Topic “The Harm of Medication: From Early Identification to Prevention” . Since the launch of our first Research Topic, countries have developed and worked towards three priority areas to reduce severe, avoidable medication errors, adverse drug events and medication-related hospital admission (high-risk situations, polypharmacy, and transition care) in four domains (health care professionals behavior, systems and practices of medication, medicines, patients). However, research in these areas are poorly organized among diseases, populations, and environments. Pharmacovigilance is now better established and is an important activity to help recognize that an adverse drug effect (ADE) is caused by the drug itself; that is, it is an adverse drug reaction (ADR). However, ADRs are considerably under-reported by up to 90% including those reported as bias. Specific programs for active pharmacovigilance complement spontaneous notifications as a systematic way to an early identification of the clinical safety problems associated with the use of medications, and try to minimize the effects on the patients. However, despite the importance of the active pharmacovigilance, these systems are not widely used or developed. This can become difficult for policymakers, health professionals, and others to find and use the evidence on how to address such ADRs.

Medicines are a cornerstone of treatment for many health problems. Recent increasing cost-sharing has been associated with lower rates of drug treatment, more frequent discontinuation of therapy, and high rate of self-purchasing. Self-purchasing could be out-of-date, diluted or fake, and may produce dosage errors, side effects in cascade or harmful interactions with other medications or food. In this Research Topic, we aim to assess the latest strategies in pharmacovigilance programs to cover the much needed timely and accurate identification of ADRs, in improving the safety of using medication. The quality of data needs to be strengthened in order to:
- monitor medication-related harm, to improve medication safety through improved packaging and labeling
- evaluate the pharmacy benefit design to improve adherence to treatment and reduce self-medication
- evaluate the tools and technologies that empower patients to safety manage their own medications
- evaluate the impact of the strategies to reduce the harm of medication

This Research Topic will provide a forum presenting the latest research – preferably in the form of Original Research and Reviews – on pharmacovigilance programs for the early detection of ADRs, and prevention strategies. Therefore, studies that will further our understanding in early identification, detection of ADEs associated with various medications used alone or in combination; old/new using appropriate process, the validated tool to evaluate ADEs qualitatively and quantitatively along with prevention, are all welcome. Further preliminary Opinions, short notes on safety of medications used in the treatment of COVID – 19, using suitable study designs are encouraged.


Keywords: pharmacoepidemiology, Adverse drug effect, medication without harm, pharmacovigilance, causality assessment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This present Research Topic, ‘Reducing the Harm of Medication - Recent trends in pharmacovigilance’, will be a continuation from our first Topic “The Harm of Medication: From Early Identification to Prevention” . Since the launch of our first Research Topic, countries have developed and worked towards three priority areas to reduce severe, avoidable medication errors, adverse drug events and medication-related hospital admission (high-risk situations, polypharmacy, and transition care) in four domains (health care professionals behavior, systems and practices of medication, medicines, patients). However, research in these areas are poorly organized among diseases, populations, and environments. Pharmacovigilance is now better established and is an important activity to help recognize that an adverse drug effect (ADE) is caused by the drug itself; that is, it is an adverse drug reaction (ADR). However, ADRs are considerably under-reported by up to 90% including those reported as bias. Specific programs for active pharmacovigilance complement spontaneous notifications as a systematic way to an early identification of the clinical safety problems associated with the use of medications, and try to minimize the effects on the patients. However, despite the importance of the active pharmacovigilance, these systems are not widely used or developed. This can become difficult for policymakers, health professionals, and others to find and use the evidence on how to address such ADRs.

Medicines are a cornerstone of treatment for many health problems. Recent increasing cost-sharing has been associated with lower rates of drug treatment, more frequent discontinuation of therapy, and high rate of self-purchasing. Self-purchasing could be out-of-date, diluted or fake, and may produce dosage errors, side effects in cascade or harmful interactions with other medications or food. In this Research Topic, we aim to assess the latest strategies in pharmacovigilance programs to cover the much needed timely and accurate identification of ADRs, in improving the safety of using medication. The quality of data needs to be strengthened in order to:
- monitor medication-related harm, to improve medication safety through improved packaging and labeling
- evaluate the pharmacy benefit design to improve adherence to treatment and reduce self-medication
- evaluate the tools and technologies that empower patients to safety manage their own medications
- evaluate the impact of the strategies to reduce the harm of medication

This Research Topic will provide a forum presenting the latest research – preferably in the form of Original Research and Reviews – on pharmacovigilance programs for the early detection of ADRs, and prevention strategies. Therefore, studies that will further our understanding in early identification, detection of ADEs associated with various medications used alone or in combination; old/new using appropriate process, the validated tool to evaluate ADEs qualitatively and quantitatively along with prevention, are all welcome. Further preliminary Opinions, short notes on safety of medications used in the treatment of COVID – 19, using suitable study designs are encouraged.


Keywords: pharmacoepidemiology, Adverse drug effect, medication without harm, pharmacovigilance, causality assessment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

19 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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