RENE I. JUANEZA, MD
President of the Philippine College of Physicians 2006-2007
The PCP, at the start of my term and with new Board of Regents, has created a number of innovative advocacy programs, one of which is the Pharmacovigilance on Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR), with the intention of serving the best interests of our members and patients. In our country, we have observed that the culture of safety is often overlooked and disasters are recurrent. The PCP wanted to provide some practical tools for our members on the areas of medication use. This handbook is envisioned to serve as a continuing educational tool for our members and residents in training.
There are occasions that despite due care, the use of medicines can lead to inadvertent adverse drug reactions through no fault of the doctor. The doctor must know how to recognize these events, how to stop the medications, how to manage the reactions, how to report these and how to communicate the unforeseen, unwanted event to the patient. Information such as these must also be shared with the drug industry as part of due diligence and product stewardship. All these with the intention of protecting the doctor, preventing similar future adverse events, and providing continuing care at the highest possible level to our main stakeholders, the patient themselves.
Sometimes, the issue is not about a medicinal product but an adverse event might be due to how the drug was used. These can result due to some breakdown in communications, prescribing and dispensing errors. In this handbook, we share with you some practical tips on how to put in place sensible guidelines to avoid costly errors that could be detrimental to patients receiving the drugs.
Counterfeit and sub-quality medicines hounding the Philippine health sector is a common knowledge. It is imperative to make doctors aware that the drugs they use must come from legitimate and credible sources that are applying standards that are much higher than current local regulatory requirements. It is also within this context that the PCP Board of Regents is trying to find ways of improving our methods of giving quality care to patients and in consonance to what is within ethical norms and standards.
Lastly, the Board of Regents would like to acknowledge and thank the working committees, headed by Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, the authors and the staff for taking time to make this worthy endeavor a reality in our time.