Friday, November 6, 2020 1:30 pm
The launch of the Med Safety Mobile Application for reporting of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) in Nigeria would enhance the promotion of awareness and increased reporting of ADRs amongst healthcare professionals, healthcare providers and members of the public
The assertion was made on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye at the virtual launch of Med Safety Mobile App in Nigeria.
According to her, there is no better time to officially launch the Med Safety App than now when the focus of the world is on the safety of medications used in healthcare delivery as the whole world battles with the unfortunate Covid-19 pandemic.
Prof Adeyeye however disclosed that the App would be one of the tools that would be used for Covid-19 vaccines in collaboration with other sister agencies in Nigeria whenever the vaccines are available and deemed fit on quality, safety and efficacy by NAFDAC.
The NAFDAC DG further explained that the App would also ensure safety of the end-users of medicines and improve on health outcomes of the patients, noting that it would directly reach out to over 10,000,000 pharmacovigilance stakeholders with the use of conventional and social media platforms.
‘’The journey towards the adoption of the Med Safety App by Nigeria commenced in August 2019 when NAFDAC officially submitted an expression of interest to the World Health Organisation WHO. The adoption process was cemented at the 42nd annual meeting of Pharmacovigilance centres held at Bogota Colombia in October 2019’’, she said. She added that the technical development of the app commenced in January 2020 when Nigeria provided country-specific information and a list of all NAFDAC registered medicines.
She further disclosed that several testing processes and demonstrations were done to determine its suitability and adaptability in Nigeria.
‘’I am glad that, we are here today to witness the official launch of the Med Safety App in Nigeria’’, she enthused, stressing that the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) domiciled in NAFDAC is charged with the responsibility of coordination of all pharmacovigilance activities in Nigeria.
Since its inception, she said the NPC has continually deployed the hard copy ADR triplicate forms (NAFDAC Yellow Forms), e-reporting platforms (which can be downloaded free from NAFDAC website) and the Pharmacovigilance Rapid Alert System for Consumer Reporting (PRASCOR) to collect and collate reports of ADRs which are then uploaded manually into WHO ADR database platforms (VigiFlow, VigiBase etc.).
Despite the availability of these pharmacovigilance reporting tools, she noted with dismay that ADRs and other drug-related problems remain under-reported in Nigeria and generally within the WHO region of Africa. ‘’Nigeria is still a far cry from the WHO recommendation of 200 ADR reports per million of the population’’, she cried out.
Prof Adeyeye however, explained that the provision of the Med Safety App which is available to download for free on android or apple smartphone devices provides a medium for users to seamlessly report incidences of ADRs from the comfort of their mobile phone devices.
‘’Reports can be created offline without internet connectivity and submitted once connection is established. Since it is directly linked to WHO database platforms, a lot of man hours are saved from manual input of the information on Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) using the hard copy ADR forms’’, she said.
The NAFDAC DG further explained that the provision of the Med Safety App which is available to download for free on android or apple smartphone devices provides a medium for users to seamlessly report incidences of ADRs from the comfort of their mobile phone devices.
In order to effectively harness the benefits of the Med Safety App, She said NAFDAC would intensify efforts on sensitization campaigns for the general public leveraging on conventional and social media platforms, organize quarterly zonal and state level trainings for healthcare providers and health professionals and make provision of internet-enabled tablets for Zonal Pharmacovigilance Centres and selected health facilities in Nigeria.
She called on all Healthcare providers and everyone in Nigeria to support NAFDAC to achieve the mandate of safeguarding the health of the nation.
‘’NAFDAC is very grateful to the WHO for supporting the procurement of the app; UMC for providing administration and technical support to NAFDAC and the Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom for their technical support and more especially for coordinating the Web Recognizing Adverse Drug Reactions (WEB-RADR) project which has led to the development of this novel app’’, she said.