Background: There is little information on the status of the implementation of the isotretinoin Pregnancy Prevention Programme (PPP) in the EU, and on compliance with this programme by the regulatory agencies. Objective: The aim of the study was to obtain information on implementation of the harmonized PPP of isotretinoin in the EU member states plus Norway and Iceland. Materials and Methods: In January 2009, a questionnaire (request for nonurgent information [NUI]) was sent to all 25 EU member states, plus Norway and Iceland, to collect information on the implementation status of the PPP and its effectiveness. Results: The response rate was 82%(22 of the 27 countries). In 21 of the 27member states, isotretinoin is marketed and the PPP is in force, and in 18 of the 22 responding countries, the total required elements (seven) following a formal EU review are incorporated in the PPP. Seven member states had additional measures in place. In spite of implementation of the PPP and additional measures, a total of 143 isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies have been reported in 16 of the 22 responding member states since implementation of the harmonized PPP. Conclusions: Despite implementation of the isotretinoin PPP in most member states, isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies were reported. This has led some member states to implement additional measures to the PPP, resulting in inconsistency with the approach agreed in 2003 following the European-wide review. It has been further suggested that common elements should be developed for PPPs for all medicines that are known to carry a high teratogenic risk.

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Drug Safety
Department of Medical Informatics

Crijns, I., Straus, S., Luteijn, M., Gispen-De Wied, C., Raine, K., & de Jong-van den Berg, L. (2012). Implementation of the harmonized EU isotretinoin pregnancy prevention programme: A questionnaire survey among European Regulatory Agencies. Drug Safety, 35(1), 27–32. doi:10.2165/11595570-000000000-00000