Adverse drug reaction reports (ADRs) from consumers may improve patient safety

20 March 2013

Consumers play a key role in making medicine safer and more effective.

Since 2003, it has been possible for consumers to report ADRs to the Danish Health Authority (DHMA). These reports are important because consumers often report other ADRs than doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, the reports from consumers may contribute to increased patient safety and to ensure safer and more effective medicine.

In a report, the DHMA has reviewed the ADR reports received during the years 2003–2011 to clarify how consumer reports differ from reports from healthcare professionals.

The report shows that consumer reports contribute significantly to the total number of ADR reports, quantitatively as well as qualitatively. In general, consumer reports provide important, well-documented information contributing to increased patient safety.