Post-pandemic, we have been forced to rethink how drug information is disseminated and consumed.
For many years, the SmPC (summary of product characteristics) has been used as a drug information document approved by health authorities for healthcare professionals (HCP) on how to use medicines safely. and efficient.
But with a plethora of information now available in digital form, is the full SmPC still relevant and still meeting the needs of healthcare professionals requiring specific drug information?
Datapharm surveyed 241 healthcare professionals in the UK about how they interact with medicine information, and the results provided compelling insights.
ROE is a key driver of effective decision making
Surprisingly, 85% of healthcare professionals surveyed said they consult the CPR at least a few times a week. There are a variety of reasons for doing so – it may be part of the prescribing process (69% of respondents), to check for interactions with other medicines (49%) or to check for changes to previous versions of the SmPC (44% ).
When verifying changed information from previous versions of the SmPC, part of this process may involve requesting more information from the pharmaceutical company to understand an omission or change in information (e.g., omission of information on storage conditions). So when the pharma company needs to determine why something has changed, by comparing the latest SmPC with an older version, it is ideally simplified by referring to a single source of truth.
It is important to consult the complete SmPC
Pharmaceutical companies have traditionally relied on the truncated version of prescribing information (commonly referred to as shortened IP or shortened IP) to provide the required amount of prescribing information in a compact format while meeting their regulatory obligations. However, the abbreviated IP is difficult to use – survey comments included that “the words seem very cluttered” in this condensed format.
In the survey, healthcare professionals were asked what information they were interested in when viewing drug information. Full SmPC information was ranked as the most important overall compared to only information on dosage and administration, contraindications, active substances or side effects.
Healthcare Professionals Prefer Digitally Delivered Content
When healthcare professionals were asked what format they preferred to receive drug information in, there was an overwhelming preference for digital: 86% preferred ‘digital’ while 11% answered ‘Both’. A significant number (40%) also said they never read printed materials that were physically given to them by Pharma representatives.
So what are the compelling reasons to go digital? Digital tools facilitate and accelerate access to data, while minimizing information errors. There may still be a small number of cases where printed materials are appropriate in LIP form – for example, with elderly patients who do not have access or the ability to use electronic formats.
However, the growing reliance on digital formats means there will be less unnecessary paper waste, reducing financial costs and promoting environmental sustainability, and less risk from outdated physical forms of product information in circulation. .
In short, Pharma should consider a digital-only approach, but offer print-on-demand for those who need it.
Get a better understanding of how healthcare professionals interact with drug information
Above all, it is gratifying for both regulators and the pharmaceutical industry to hear that the SmPC is achieving its goal of delivering important drug information in an easily consumable format.
To learn more about how healthcare professionals responded to the survey, read Datapharm’s white paper, “Making Medicine Information Meaningful: Revisiting The SmPC.”
Datapharm maintains the electronic medicine compendium (emc), the UK’s most comprehensive and trusted source of medicines information. The fast-growing SaaS company provides innovative regulatory, compliance and business software solutions to support the broader life sciences and healthcare industries, and is trusted by more than 300 pharmaceutical customers globally. UK.
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