Introduction: Pharmacovigilance is the public health activity that identifies, quantifies, evaluates and prevents the risks of the use of medicines after their introduction upon the market, thus allowing follow-up of their possible adverse effects. According to the latest statistics of the Andalusian Pharmacovigilance Center, reports by pharmacists represent only 9 % of all reports by health professionals. In view of these data, a study was designed to identify the reasons for this lack of reporting and resolve the possible problems.
Method: An ad hoc questionnaire was administered among all the pharmacists of the province of Huelva (Spain).
Results: Sixty-six pharmacists participated in the study. A full 91 % were aware of the yellow card pharmacovigilance reporting system, 45% were in possession of the card, 34 % knew of the system website, and 34 % had made use of the system for reporting (7 % claimed to do so each time they identified an adverse reaction). Sixty percent had never reported, and 15 % believed that reporting is not mandatory. The reasons for not reporting were lack of information (44 %), lack of training (41 %), lack of time (36 %) and non-availability of the yellow card (29 %). The pharmacy owners expressed a need for greater information and training. The pharmacy employees regarded a lack of time to be the main reason for not reporting adverse reactions.
Discussion: In view of the low reporting levels among pharmacists and the great importance of this subject, we recommend the introduction of an awareness-enhancing campaign among the pharmacists in Huelva in order to improve the results obtained. In this regard, all the pharmacists will receive an informative leaflet with the aim of solving the main inconveniences of reporting.