The Use of Driving Impairing Medicines: A European Survey

This article reports on a study undertaken to analyze the consumption of a number of medicines that have a known potential for increasing the risk of road traffic accidents. Questionnaires were distributed through the European Drug Utilization Research Group (EuroDURG) and Post-Innovation Learning through Life-events of drugs (PILLS) networks. A total of 30 countries (the current EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) were asked to supply data on the use of driving-impairing medicines for the period 2000–2005, presented in Defined Daily Doses (DDDs) per 1000 inhabitants per day. National utilization data were provided by 12 of the 30 countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Based on these data, a considerable increase in consumption was only seen for the antidepressants and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). A slight increase, decrease or no increase was seen for the rest of the drugs studied (i.e., opioids, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics and sedatives, drugs that are used in addictive disorders, and antihistamines). A cross-national comparison could not be performed because of limitations in the data between countries, including variation in the data sources and providers, population coverage, inclusion of hospital data, and varying DDD versions. The authors conclude by noting that it is still difficult to perform a valid and comprehensive collection of drug utilization data on driving impairing medicines. They call for efforts to harmonize data collection techniques to provide the basis for more accurate research in the future.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01149243
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 24 2010 8:11AM