Brussels, 24 February 2022. A new report run by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) explores the potential future of digitalisation and notably the use of electronic product information (ePI) in hospitals. The report is based on the results of a survey that was carried out in cooperation with the Inter-Association Task Force for electronic product information (IATF) composed of Medicines for Europe, EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations), and AESGP (Association of the European Self-Care Industry) from March to April 2021 and targeted hospital pharmacists in 36 European countries, ultimately receiving 534 answers.
Easier access to medicinal product information for healthcare professionals and patients
Findings released today show that the adoption of ePI could make access to product information easier for both healthcare professionals and patients. Almost 60% of respondents reported that healthcare professionals use the digital version when they wish to obtain information on a medicine. Hospital pharmacists (93%) are those using most frequently the digital format of the product information followed by physicians (71%) and nurses (43%).
The survey reveals that patients are usually not provided with paper package leaflets, and only 21% of respondents revealed that medicines information is provided orally to patients. In this regard, the majority of respondents see the potential of providing to the patients access to up to date information via ePI.
The report nevertheless acknowledges that some challenges should be addressed concurrently, especially equipping hospitals with the appropriate IT infrastructure while at the same time taking into account the structural preconditions of hospitals in Europe regarding the technical equipment to use ePI in daily practice.
According to Medicines for Europe, EFPIA, and AESGP, the results of the survey clearly show the need to integrate future looking and practical proposals for an ePI in the upcoming revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation. Such a proposal should contribute to patient access to information about their medicine, and when appropriate the reduction of paper waste.
The full findings can be accessed here.
 Given that the survey only targeted hospital pharmacists, it should be noted that the presumed behaviour of both healthcare professionals and patients are always the opinion of the hospital pharmacists’ answering the survey. The full findings can be accessed here.