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Awareness and practice of pharmacovigilance

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On the sidelines of Healthcare Senate 2017, Glenmark, a research–based global pharmaceutical company, hosted a power breakfast discussion focussing on ‘Awareness on Pharmacovigilance’. The session was moderated by Dr Suresh Saravdekar, Director, The Rural Health & Education Centre. Around 15-20 hospital pharmacy heads of  hospitals from across India assembled for the discussion.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Pharmacovigilance (PV) is defined as the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem. The aim  of pharmacovigilance is to enhance patient care and patient safety in relation to the use of medicines; and to support public health programmes by providing reliable, balanced information for the effective assessment of the risk-benefit profile of medicines.

Initiating the hour-long panel discussion and giving the opening  remarks, Dr Saravdekar informed that the discussion was to explore the knowledge, perceptions, practices and role of hospital pharmacists towards the practices of Pharmacovigilance.

“Quality is a concept which is ever evolving and the monitoring of medicines’ and measuring their safety and efficacy norms is important for the healthcare sector. Pharmacovigilance is essential in order to avoid abuse and over use of a drug. Along with this,  post marketing surveillance is also important,” Dr Saravdekar informed.

Highlighting various incidents of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) in hospital reported, Dr Sarvadekar added that understanding of pharmacovigilance is necessary and it needs high level of expertise to rapidly detect drug risks as well as to defend the product against an inappropriate removal.

Taking the discussion further, Akshay Mahapatra, Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Glenmark said, “Pharmcovigilance is crucial part of a clinical research. Measuring the safety aspects of  each medicine is very important. Right from the development and formulation stage to pre-marketing, which includes drug design, clinical trials, and post-marketing surveillance; the safety aspect and detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of ADRs is of prime importance. Glenmark has a global PV system in place and we have put in strict quality control measures, as for us patient safety is of prime importance.”

The floor was then open to the pharmacy heads to share their outlooks on this subject.

In addition, the delegates deliberated  on challenges faced by private hospitals to filter unscrupulous manufacturers and to provide quality medicines. Participating in the discussion, the delegates from the private healthcare listed out few areas that should be looked upon are monitoring drug utilisation pattern, control on illicit sale of medicines over the counter, awareness-on random use of drugs. The delegates participating also discussed about building the importance of pharmcovigilance in private hospital set up, the challenges they encountered, strategies to make the hospitals staffs aware of PV. In his concluding remarks, Dr Sarvadekar informed that regular discussion and awareness on pharmacovigilance and their impact on clinical practice is necessary.

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