The UK BIO-TRAC Study: a cross-sectional study of product and batch traceability for biologics in clinical practice and electronic adverse drug reaction reporting in the UK

Kevin Klein, Lorna Hazell, Pieter Stolk, Saad Shakir

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Abstract

Introduction: Due to the complexity of biologics and the inherent challenges for manufacturing, it is important to know the specific brand name and batch number of suspected biologics in adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which biologics are traceable by brand name and batch number in UK hospital practice and in ADRs reported by patients and healthcare professionals.

Methods: We performed an online hospital pharmacist survey to capture information on how specific product details are recorded during the processes of prescribing, dispensing and administration of biologics in routine UK hospital practice. We also assessed the proportion of ADR reports specifying brand name and batch number from electronic ADR reports submitted to the UK national spontaneous reporting database, the Yellow Card Scheme, between 1 January 2009 and 30 September 2017.

Results: Brand name recording in routine hospital processes ranged from 79 to 91%, whereas batch numbers were less routinely recorded, ranging from 38 to 58%. Paper-based recording of product details was more commonly used for recording information. A total of 6108 electronic ADR reports were submitted to the Yellow Card Scheme for recombinant biologics, of which 38% and 15%, respectively, had an identifiable brand name and batch numbers. Whereas batch number traceability in electronic ADR reports improved slightly after the implementation of the European Union pharmacovigilance legislation in 2012, no improvement of brand name traceability was observed.

Conclusion: Brand name and batch number traceability for biologics in UK ADR reports are generally low. Shortcomings in the systematic recording of product details in UK clinical practice may contribute to the limited traceability.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Safety
Early online date23 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 23 Dec 2019

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