Drug risk warnings increased

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Alerts and drug risks increased in 2009

The drug commission of the German pharmacists (AMK) received about 7,400 notifications about different risks of drugs (drug risks) in the last year. This means that reports on drug risks increased by around 11.0 percent compared to 2008. 7400 reports are a new high. Since 1994 there have not been as many drug risk reports.

The term "drug risk" is always used when there is new knowledge as to whether a drug, for example, endangers the safety of patients or whether safety can no longer be guaranteed. However, not only undesirable (side) effects and misuse of drugs are indicated, but also pharmaceutical quality defects such as packaging errors.

In 2009, the largest proportion of reports on drug risks included so-called packaging errors. About a third of the reports were bad packaging. However, around 30 percent were also complaints about "Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and reports of abuse". Basically, these reports help to improve the quality of the medication.

According to the Federal Association of German Pharmacy Associations, drug risks include the following indicators: side effects, interactions with other agents, development of resistance, abuse, misuse, habituation, dependency, defects in quality, including technical defects, defects in the containers and outer wrappings, defects in labeling and the compartment and instructions for use, counterfeit drugs, insufficient waiting time for veterinary medicinal products and potential environmental risks due to the use of a veterinary medicinal product. (sb, 01/29/2010)

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