Improving information for healthcare providers about medicines

The Health Care Institute of the Netherlands (Zorginstituut Nederland [ZIN]), the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB), Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, the Medicinal Products Bulletin (Geneesmiddelenbulletin [Gebu]) and the Institute for Responsible Use of Medicinal products (Instituut voor Verantwoord Medicijngebruik [IVM]) have signed a declaration of intent to provide more up-to-date and clear information about medicinal products. The ultimate aim is to promote the appropriate use of medicinal products. This corresponds to one of the aims in the MEB Strategic Business Plan 2014 - 2018.

The five organisations revealed their plans yesterday during an expert meeting that preceded the signing of the declaration. Chaired by Ivan Wolffers, the participants exchanged ideas about how the available information can best be tailored to the needs of the target group, first of all the (junior) prescribers.

The MEB and the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb currently already share information with the (digital) Pharmacotherapeutic Compass (FK), which will form the backbone of the information provided to prescribers. Hugo Hurts, director of the MEB: “It was a question of stepping over our own shadow to get the information there where it is consulted most frequently.” The IVM and Gebu will follow, but other parties will in due course also be offered the opportunity to share their information, for example the expertise centre Ephor, the paediatric formularium or the RIVM.

During this meeting, several parties indicated that the primary need of physicians is for information that is applicable to the practical situation. Agnes Kant, director of the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb: “At the moment, they can read in the FK about the possible adverse events that can be expected. But it is equally important to know what to do if such an adverse event occurs.”

The focus is now on streamlining the information to healthcare providers and this will indirectly benefit the patient. Subsequently, the information to patients will also need to be improved.