Pharmacovigilance and the reporting of adverse drug reactions

Antoinette Terblanche


Adverse drug reactions continue to be a major public health problem, negatively affecting patient care, having the potential to cause harm, and burdening limited healthcare resources. Clinical trials are able to detect only the most common side effects of a drug before licensure, highlighting the importance of post-marketing surveillance and pharmacovigilance to detect rare adverse drug reactions. The safe use of medicines is a priority for all healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical industries and the public, however, under-reporting of adverse drug reactions is a global problem. Educational interventions for health care professionals can improve knowledge, attitudes and the practice of adverse drug reaction reporting. Evidence has shown some benefits of pharmacists’ involvement in adverse drug reaction reporting, hence they can play an important future role in pharmacovigilance.

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