The World Health Organisation has defined Pharmacovigilance (PV) as the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem. Pharmacovigilance and all drug safety issues are relevant for everyone whose life is touched in any way by medical interventions.

The specific aims of pharmacovigilance are to:

  • improve patient care and safety in relation to the use of medicines and all medical and paramedical interventions,
  • improve public health and safety in relation to the use of medicines,
  • contribute to the assessment of benefit, harm, effectiveness and risk of medicines, encouraging their safe, rational and more effective (including cost-effective) use, and
  • promote understanding, education and clinical training in pharmacovigilance and its effective communication to the public.

All medicines carry some risk of harm and it is important to monitor their effects, both intended and unwanted, so that good evidence is available upon which to base an assessment of risk versus effectiveness or risk versus benefit. Furthermore, particularly with new medicines, the early identification of unexpected adverse reactions and their risk factors is essential, so that the medicines can be used in an informed manner with the least chance of harm. This is the role of pharmacovigilance. Information gathered during pharmacovigilance may also assist in selecting the most appropriate medicine for future use.

Click on the ADR Reporting Form below to report suspected adverse drug effects.