Is There a ‘Best’ Way for Patients to Participate in Pharmacovigilance?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (forthcoming)
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The underreporting of suspected adverse drug reactions hinders pharmacovigilance. Solutions to underreporting are oftentimes directed at clinicians and health care professionals. However, given the recent rise of public inclusion in medical science, solutions may soon begin more actively involving patients. I aim to offer an evaluative framework for future possible proposals that would engage patients with the aim of mitigating underreporting. The framework may also have value in evaluating current reporting practices. The offered framework is composed of three criteria that are bioethical, social-epistemic, and pragmatic: (i) patients should not be exposed to undue harms, e.g., nocebo effects; (ii) data should be collected, analyzed, and communicated prioritizing pharmacovigilance’s aims, i.e., free from industry bias; and (iii) proposals should account for existing and foreseeable pragmatic constraints like clinician ‘buy in’ and existing reporting infrastructure. Proposals to engage patients in pharmacovigilance that fulfil or address these criteria are preferable to those that do not.

Author's Profile

Austin Due
Diablo Valley College


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