Danish Medicines Agency to send safety information directly to healthcare professionals

When side effects or the like is discovered for medicines, the medicine’s product information sometimes needs to be changed to the point that healthcare professionals must be informed directly. Up to now, the pharmaceuticals companies were responsible for passing on this information to healthcare professionals, but the Danish Medicines Agency is taking over the task from 1 May 2019.

As of 1 May, the Danish Medicines Agency takes over the distribution of the so-called DHPCs (Direct Healthcare Professional Communication). The practice is changed firstly to ensure that important safety information reaches the right healthcare professionals, but also to ensure that the information is not confused with advertising from the companies.

The type of information communicated in a DHPC could, for example, be instructions to use a certain type of medication cautiously in a specific patient group, or to make healthcare professionals aware that they should inform patients of new side effects of a specific type of medicine.

Healthcare professionals will get the information via e-Boks

Up to now, the pharmaceutical companies have delivered the safety information by post. This practice has proved suboptimal because the information sometimes takes long to send by post and does not always reach the right healthcare professional. Furthermore, many healthcare professionals have requested to receive the information electronically.

As of 1 May, the safety information will be sent directly from the Danish Medicines Agency to relevant healthcare professionals via e-Boks.

The change is part of the government’s Growth Plan for Life Science (only in Danish) from March 2018, which decided that the Danish Medicines Agency should take over the task of distributing the DHPCs. The Danish Medicines Agency is able to do it in a simpler, cheaper and more targeted manner than that of the pharmaceutical companies. This is partly because the relevant healthcare professionals can very accurately be identified via CPR number and speciality information from the authorisation register, and partly because the Danish Medicines Agency has access to the healthcare professionals’ CPR number and can therefore distribute information via e-Boks.

General practitioners and medical specialists will also receive the safety information in the digital post box of their private practice via their provider ID and CVR number (business registration number).

Important that the information is seen

To make sure the safety information is seen, it will also be directed to relevant healthcare professionals via email to the five main mail boxes of the regions. This way, it can be distributed to the relevant hospital departments, private hospitals and to medicinal products committees and medical societies. Lastly, the information will be made available via a link on relevant medicine’s page at pro.medicin.dk

Important for patient safety

"It is essential for patient safety that important safety information reaches doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and proprietary pharmacists with minimum delay. We ensure this by sending digital post to healthcare professionals in conjunction with emails to hospitals and medical societies as well as through links on pro.medicin.dk", said Pierre Quartarolo, Director of Division of Pharmacovigilance & Medical Devices.

Depending on the nature of the safety information, the Danish Medicines Agency will in special cases also communicate directly to and with the public via newsletters on its website, social media and the press.

You can find more information about DHPCs on our website: Direct Healthcare Professional Communication (DHPC) to doctors and other healthcare professionals.

The list of DHPCs that have been sent out is also available on the website: Direct Healthcare Professional Communication (DHPC) sent to healthcare professionals

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