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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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mong the medication consumers, the aging population has an increased risk of medication-related problems because of the changes in drug disposition and pharmacodynamic responses in addition to the burden of comorbidity, polypharmacy, inappropriate prescribing and suboptimal monitoring of drugs (Lavan & Gallagher, 2016).  In USA, elderly patients are staying mostly in residential aged care facilities aand experiencing 10.8 adverse drug reactions per one hundred (100) residents in one (1) month (Handler & Hanlon, 2010).

 As this global issue concerns human life, the WHO established the pharmacovigilance program, which includes detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug reactions (WHO, 2004).  It started in the early 1950s, following the incident of congenital limb deformities in offspring of women who were exposed to thalidomide, a medication to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. Since then, ensuring the safety and vigilantly monitoring the ill-effects of medications are the priorities of the authorities (Marcelo, 2013).  The increasing speed in detection of potential serious adverse drug reactions and initiation of drug withdrawals are some of the indexes of effective pharmacovigilance (Aronson, 2017).  Numerous drugs were pulled out of the market due to the serious problems experienced by the consumers during post-marketing surveillance.  An example includes cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, Rofecoxib (Vioxx), which has been approved by the FDA in 1999 and was supposed to be safer than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  After five (5) years of marketing, gastrointestinal side effects particularly stomach upset, pain and bleeding were the primary complaint of the patients.  However, the main reason for the drug recall is the increased relative risk of heart attack and stroke (Sibbald, 2004).

Voluntary adverse drug reaction reporting schemes were implemented to allow medical professionals to identify and report suspected ADRs (Kharkar & Bowalekar, 2014).  The Philippine government established different extensive methods to promote ADR reporting such as training courses, notification system, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee newsletters and ADR audiovisual presentations.  Along these methods, the report form was introduced and paper-based reporting has been in practice in the Philippines since then.  Through the years, significant improvements have been made such as the addition of online reporting specifically, the Saving Lives through Vigilant Reporting, which is available to the public through the Philippine FDA's website (Hartigan-Go, 2002).  However, despite these developments, Nwokike, Ludeman and Thumm (2013) concluded that Philippines generated only 18% of the WHO requirement to produce two hundred (200) ADR reports per million population.  Numerous studies attribute this problem to the eight deadly sins of underreporting specifically lack of financial incentives, legal aspects, complacency, diffidence, indifference, ignorance, lethargy and lack of training in pharmacovigilance (Inman, 1996; Varallo, 2014).  In addition, unavailability of electronic reporting or reporting forms and bureaucratic reporting process were the other difficulties prominent to studies (Ezeuko et al, 2015).

The magnitude of ADR-related concerns and the problem of underreporting predispose the country to a greater need of identifying and preventing ADRs.  With the emergence of technology, wireless and mobile devices have been rapidly developing and growing with numerous uses that caters to different needs of people over the years.  For instance, mobile applications extended learning from e-learning (electronic learning) to m-learning (mobile learning).  Due to the continuing high availability of mobile devices worldwide, m-learning poses a favorable response to the end users (Semertzidis, 2013).  Relatively, since the Philippines has a very extensive usage of mobile phone and even earned the reputation of being the texting capital of the world (Capistrano, 2013), such developments may be advantageous and practical for Filipinos.

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