Pharmacovigilance is the science and practice of monitoring the safety and efficacy of drugs, both before and after they are marketed. It is a vital aspect of ensuring public health and patient safety, as well as complying with regulatory requirements and ethical standards.
Pharmacovigilance officers are professionals who are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data on adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and other potential safety issues. They also conduct risk assessments, implement risk management plans, and communicate with health authorities, health professionals, and patients.
The National Pharmacovigilance Centre at Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan urges the pharma industry to nominate or appoint pharmacovigilance officers for their products, as this will ensure the highest standards of quality and safety for their customers and patients. Pharmacovigilance is not only a legal obligation but also a social responsibility. Focusing on pharmacovigilance can enhance reputation, credibility, and competitiveness of a product in the global market.
According to the Pharmacovigilance Rules, 2022, notified by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), it is the legal obligation of the pharma industry to nominate or appoint a pharmacovigilance officer for products registered under the DRAP Act, 2012. The pharmacovigilance officer is required to perform the following duties:
- To collect, record, and report adverse events and other safety data related to the product to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) within the specified time frame.
- To conduct periodic safety update reports (PSURs) and risk-benefit assessments of the product and submit them to the NPC.
- To implement risk management plans (RMPs) and risk minimization measures (RMMs) for the product as per the NPC’s recommendations.
- To ensure compliance with the pharmacovigilance rules and guidelines issued by the NPC and DRAP.
- To maintain pharmacovigilance records and documentation for at least 10 years.
“The NPC was established by DRAP in July 2022 under the Pharmacovigilance Rules, 2022, with the aim to enhance the pharmacovigilance activities in the country . The NPC is responsible for collecting, analyzing, monitoring, and preventing adverse effects of therapeutic goods, as well as reviewing and assessing safety data, conducting risk evaluations, and communicating with health authorities, health professionals, and patients. The NPC also provides training, guidance, and support to the provincial or regional pharmacovigilance centres, public health programs, and product registration holders.”