A bibliometric analysis of Web of Science published literature on adverse drug effects

Article type
Diaz-Barrera ME1, Pacheco-Mendoza J2
1Universidad Nacional de Trujillo
2Unidad de Investigación en Bibliometría, Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola
Background: Adverse effects (AE) during hospital admissions affect nearly one out of 10 patients, 15.1% of these effects are drug-related, whereas 7.4% effects were lethal, all of which have a median percentage of preventability of 43.5%. Regarding scientific production (SP) in this AE field, it represents 10.8% of all drug-related literature, and despite the growth of this area in the last 20 years, the bibliometric analyses developed to describe this production have not analyze the data from the organization types that perform these documents or the funding agencies.

Aims: Perform a bibliometric analysis of Web of Science (WoS) published literature on drugs AE.

Methods: We searched the WoS – Core Collection database the terms “adverse effects” and its synonyms or variants, using thesaurus from PubMed, Embase, and related articles that allow us to focus on AEs caused by drugs. Then, we refine the results according to document type (Articles, Meetings Abstracts, Reviews, Letters, and Proceeding Papers) and year of publication: from 1981 to 2019. These metadata were processed using InCites (Clarivate Analytics). The SP was analyzed in general (by trends and journals), according InCites classification for organization type and funding agencies.

Results: We found 34818 documents with the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) according to our search strategy. The SP in the past 10 years was 22657 (65% of whole production found) and it is presented in Fig.1, showing that 2019 has the highest production (2753). The higher production according to journals is presented in Fig2. which shows Drug Safety (1607) leading the top ten. Regarding scientific production according to organization type (see Table.1), academics have a higher presence (63.15%) in all analyzed documents. Regarding funding agencies (see Fig.3), only 11113 (31.91%) declare its funding source.

Discussion: Our results present a deep analysis of the SP of this area regarding the reports of previous reports. The SP in this area has been increasing over the years until now. Two specialized journals in pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance focus on 13.16% of the total production (see fig.2). The role of academic organizations in this research field is superior to other organization’s type. Funding’s reports in our data are very low (31.91%) and do not match with previous works that globally assess the Science-Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE), which has 52% of this section filled regarding ESCI that barely filled 20% of this section. Our results could suggest bad practices in scientific integrity for do not declare funding sources. Despite this observation, the organization type that has reported the major number of funding papers is a government institution and near this in the top ten, we found 3 corporations (Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis), which according InCites have fund 308, 221, and 173 investigations and take part as author in 41(13%), 37(17%), and 5(3%), respectively.