Socially vigilant: Does pharmacovigilance need secondary data & social media?

June 26, 2017

Interested in the pharmaceutical world? We found this great article from Pharmafile! It suggests new solutions and trends that modify the rules of this market. Does pharmacovigilance need secondary data & social media? Have a look!

 “As the world’s drug consumption continues to rise alongside advancements in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, so too do new challenges. And as technology also evolves, new solutions are coming into focus. But they are not without their own challenges, as Matt Fellows discovers.


“Events of the last decade, including more thorough safety documentation and reviews for drug approvals, and increased warnings and awareness about adverse drug reactions, have made drug safety one of the top issues for consumers and regulators,” Dr Olga Carroll explains in her essay Global Pharmacovigilance: Requirements and Trends – the Global Regulatory Perspective. The market for pharmacovigilance was estimated to be worth more than $3 billion in 2015 and analysts project that will more than double to $8 billion by 2024; In 2010 in the US alone, over 6.4 billion drugs were dispensed to patients, and with the rising incidence of specific illness such as cardiovascular, respiratory and oncology-related diseases, in addition to concerns such as ageing populations, the global burden is growing and with it grows demand.


With an unprecedented quantity and range of treatments on the market, potential safety risks are a major concern; never before has pharmacovigilance been so crucial, and it will only continue to become more important as time goes on.


But as the world changes rapidly, current processes across the industry increasingly run the risk of becoming out of step and underperforming. There is a necessity and moral obligation for pharmacovigilance services to deliver not only the highest standards, but also to function in a manner which is fit for purpose in a climate that is ever-shifting.


A new standard


This highlights the need to regularly scrutinise ongoing processes of pharmacovigilance, and indeed all systems surrounding the life sciences and healthcare sectors. And this is just what the European Medicines Agency (EMA) did in 2012, with the launch of new legislation which was, as the EMA describes, “the biggest change to the regulation of human medicines in the European Union (EU) since 1995.” The legislation was introduced based on findings which suggested adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were responsible for 197,000 deaths a year in the EU. Based on reports, it is estimated that ADRs stand as the fifth-highest cause of death in hospitals, accounting for 5% of admissions.”


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