WHO Launches the WHO Global Medicines Safety Database

This announcement is taken from HIFA: Healthcare Information For All: www.hifa2015.org

WHO Launches Open Access to the WHO Global Medicines Safety Database

Pharmacovigilance, or drug safety, is the primary method used to identify hazards associated with medicinal products and with minimizing the risk of any harm that may come to patients.

It is based on timely information sharing and transparency, so that noxious and unintended effects due to medicinal products, medication errors such as overdose, and misuse and abuse of medicines can be quickly addressed.

To improve patient safety, increase transparency and encourage the reporting of adverse effects from medicinal products, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch VigiAccessTM on 17 April.

VigiAccess is a new web application that will allow anyone to access information on reported cases of adverse events related to over 150 000 medicines and vaccines. More than ten million cases from over 120 countries are held in VigiBaseTM , the WHO database of suspected adverse reaction reports maintained by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre in Sweden.

“VigiAccess is a global public good,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation. “By promoting open access and transparency, we hope that we will also promote medicine awareness and save lives.”

Anyone interested can access VigiAccess at http://www.vigiaccess.org from 17 April.

* The term ‘medicines’ refers to medicinal products, including vaccines

A note from HIFA: (I tried the database and I was able to obtain quantitative data for each drug on numbers/types of adverse drug reactions, geographic distribution, age group distribution, patient sex distribution and ADR reports per year. However, I could only find ‘raw’ data with no expert analysis or interpretation. For example, with mefloquine we learn there have been 5,227 reports of psychiatric disorder, of which 1,376 were clasified as Depressed mood disorders and disturbances. It would be useful to include an expert commentary on the data, together with links to guidance and cautions on using the medicines.)

Chipo Msengezi, ITOCA

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