A qualitative exploration of pharmacovigilance policy implementation in Jordan, Oman, and Kuwait using Matland's ambiguity-conflict model

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Background: As Arab countries seek to implement the ‘Guideline on Good Pharmacovigilance Practice (GVP) for Arab countries’, understanding policy implementation mechanisms and the factors impacting it can inform best implementation practice. This study aimed to explore the mechanisms of and factors influencing pharmacovigilance policy implementation in Arab countries with more established pharmacovigilance systems (Jordan, Oman), to inform policy implementation in a country with a nascent pharmacovigilance system (Kuwait). 

Results: Matland’s ambiguity-conflict model served to frame data analysis from 56 face-to-face interviews, which showed that policy ambiguity and conflict were low in Jordan and Oman, suggesting an “administrative implementation” pathway. In Kuwait, policy ambiguity was high while sentiments about policy conflict were varied, suggesting a mixture between “experimental implementation” and “symbolic implementation”. Factors reducing policy ambiguity in Jordan and Oman included: decision-makers’ guidance to implementors, stakeholder involvement in the policy’s development and implementation, training of policy implementors throughout the implementation process, clearly outlined policy goals and means, and presence of a strategic implementation plan with appropriate timelines as well as a monitoring mechanism. In contrast, policy ambiguity in Kuwait stemmed from the absence or lack of attention to these factors. Factors reducing policy conflict included: the policy’s compliance with internationally recognised standards and the policy’s fit with local capabilities (all three countries), decision-makers’ cooperation with and support of the national centre as well as stakeholders’ agreement on policy goals and means (Jordan and Oman) and adopting a stepwise approach to implementation (Jordan). 

Conclusions: Using Matland’s model, both the mechanism of and factors impacting successful pharmacovigilance policy implementation were identified. This informed recommendations for best implementation practice in Arab as well as other countries with nascent pharmacovigilance systems, including increased managerial engagement and support, greater stakeholder involvement in policy development and implementation, and undertaking more detailed implementation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalGlobalization and Health
Issue number97
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021


  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Arab World
  • Developing countries
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Policy implementation


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