Survey of Physicians’ Understanding of Specific Risks Associated with Retigabine
BACKGROUND We conducted a survey to assess physicians' knowledge and understanding of key risks associated with retigabine. OBJECTIVE The survey evaluated the effectiveness of the educational plan for retigabine, as specified in the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) European Risk Management Plan. METHODS This was a cross-sectional survey of physicians across seven European countries (Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK) who had prescribed an antiepileptic drug at least once within the past 3 months, and to whom a letter containing the retigabine Physician's Guide was sent. The survey included multiple-choice and closed-ended questions. Primary outcome was the proportion of physicians correctly answering questions related to retigabine-associated risks. Point estimates for the proportion of correct responses and associated confidence intervals were calculated. RESULTS Overall, 294 prescribers completed the survey between November 2012 and October 2013. Generally, physicians had adequate knowledge of the retigabine indication (78-92 % correct responses). Specific dose-related knowledge (57-74 %) and management of individual risks (20-77 %) were recalled less well. Subgroup analyses showed that both the 189 physicians who read the retigabine education letter and the 144 who had prescribed retigabine had better recall of the risks associated with retigabine (20-78 %) than those who did not. CONCLUSIONS Overall, physicians were aware, to varying degrees, of the risks associated with retigabine. Subsequent to the conduct of this survey, GSK has made further changes to the product labeling for retigabine, sent an updated 'Dear Healthcare Professional' letter, and initiated another EU survey to assess how effectively specific risks associated with retigabine use are communicated. Clinical trials registration number NCT01721213.