Drug Safety

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 515–524 | Cite as

Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting by Patients in the Netherlands Three Years of Experience

  • Joyce de Langen
  • Florence van Hunsel
  • Anneke Passier
  • Lolkje de Jong-van den Berg
  • Kees van Grootheest
Original Research Article


Background: There has been discussion about the acceptance of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) reported by patients to spontaneous reporting systems. Lack of experience with patient reporting in real life was one of the main drawbacks in this debate. This study covers 3 years of experience with patient reporting in daily practice. We compared patient reports with reports from healthcare professionals. Although patients have the opportunity to report ADRs in several countries, little is published in the literature about the contribution that patient reports have in practice. To our knowledge, this paper is the first to describe long-term experiences with patient reporting as part of a spontaneous reporting system.

Methods: The number of reports received, age and sex of the reporters, characteristics of the most frequently reported drugs and characteristics of the ADRs (most frequently reported ADRs, seriousness, outcome) in a 3-year period (April 2004–April 2007) were compared between patient reports and reports from healthcare professionals.

Findings: During this 3-year period, the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb received 2522 reports directly from patients, concerning 5401 ADRs. In the same period, healthcare professionals submitted 10 635 reports, concerning 16 722 ADRs. Differences were found in the categories of seriousness and outcome of the reported ADRs between patients and healthcare professionals. Conversely, similarities between patient reports and reports from healthcare professionals were found in age, sex, most frequently reported ADRs and most frequently reported drugs.

Interpretation: Our study highlights clearly that valuable differences between ADR reports from patients and reports from healthcare professionals exist. Differences in interpretation by patients and healthcare professionals may cause the observed disparities in seriousness and outcome of reported ADRs. However, the similarities between patient reports and reports from healthcare professionals in most frequently reported ADRs and most frequently reported drugs are striking. After 3 years of experience with patient reporting, we conclude that patient reporting in spontaneous reporting systems is feasible and that it contributes significantly to a reliable pharmacovigilance.


Healthcare Professional Octreotide Acromegaly Pathological Gambling Patient Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No funding was received for the conduct of this study or the preparation of this report.

The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript. Joyce de Langen, Florence van Hunsel, Anneke Passier and Kees van Grootheest contributed to the design of the study, the analysis and interpretation of data, and writing and revising the manuscript. Lolkje de Jong-van den Berg critically reviewed the manuscript. Kees van Grootheest took overall responsibility for the study and the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce de Langen
    • 1
  • Florence van Hunsel
    • 1
  • Anneke Passier
    • 1
  • Lolkje de Jong-van den Berg
    • 2
  • Kees van Grootheest
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb’s-HertogenboschMH’s-Hertogenboschthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyUniversity of GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands

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