Essential medicines and pharmaceutical policies | Events and meetings | International pharmacovigilance training course, 21–29 May 2012

International pharmacovigilance training course, 21–29 May 2012

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The Uppsala Monitoring Centre - the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring – has conducted its fourteenth international pharmacovigilance training course in Uppsala, Sweden from 21 May to 1 June 2012. Held since 1993, the previous courses have been attended by over 340 participants from 90 countries around the world. The course was attended by participants from countries in the six different WHO Regions. Participants from the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean ranged between representatives from the national pharmacovigilance centres and the pharmaceutical industry.

The success of pharmacovigilance (adverse reactions reporting) programmes depends on the ability of management staff (generally employees at a drug authority) to educate health professionals and encourage them to report their observations. They need to be knowledgeable and confident in the benefits of recording adverse drug reaction experiences in health care. They must also be able to analyse all such information in a benefit/harm context and communicate drug safety information to health professionals and to the general public. 

Where adverse reaction reporting schemes are already well established, new personnel need basic training because of job rotation and staff turnover. Many countries require pharmaceutical manufacturers to be involved in the collection, processing and evaluation of patient safety information. Companies also therefore need to develop their own competence in dealing with this kind of data. The target group of the course was therefore people from authorities and industry.

The training course included theoretical and practical sessions with lectures and presentations by course participants. Practical sessions included recording of case information and retrieval of information from the WHO Global Individual Case Safety Report database, VigiBase.

Statistics and figures

Regional Health Observatory

Average pharmaceutical expenditure: US$ 1141 million

Average pharmaceutical expenditure per capita: US$ 57 

Average density of pharmacists: 5.02 per 10 000 population

Average number of licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers: 52

Average number of registered pharmaceutical products: 7529