Last week (2nd – 8th of November, 2020), the MedSafetyWeek was held. This initiative is a social media campaign organised by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC), the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centre for Pharmacovigilance who teams up every year with medicine regulatory authorities around the world to raise awareness of the importance of reporting side effects of medicines.
This year’s MedSafetyWeek called on patients and healthcare professionals to report all side effects experienced with medicines, especially those events associated with new or experimental treatments.
But why is it so important to encourage people to notify adverse drug reactions?
Once a new medicine is approved and marketed, thousands of patients are exposed to this medicine. Up to this point, we only know about the safety profile of this medicine from the clinical studies that had to be conducted for its approval.
Reporting side effects is not only useful for brand-new medicines, but also provides crucial information on the safety profile of older medicines that we think we might know well enough. Reporting also helps detecting interactions with other medicines, reactions associated to the long-term use of a medicine, detecting rare side effects or even common medication errors associated with the use of a medicine that can potentially be very harmful. Additionally, pharmacovigilance can shed light on how safe medicines are when used in children or during pregnancy.
So, the more we report side effects, the more we contribute in shaping the knowledge of the safety of medicines!
In Asphalion we are committed with the global safety of patients. Our Pharmacovigilance department works closely with the industry and key stakeholders to ensure excellence in day-to-day surveillance of the safety of medicines.