Pharmacovigilance (PV) is still a relatively new concept but has lately been a topic of discussion at many forum in Pakistan. In 2018 Pakistan became a full member of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring. Drug Regulatory of Pakistan (DRAP) has the mandate to regulate and coordinate the PV activities across all provinces but it’s faced with a number of challenges including, awareness and underreporting by all stakeholders, human resource, inadequate funding, poor regulatory capacity and authority.
DRAP’s renewed focus and active collaborations to build capacity on PV is a clear sign of opportunity for an improved drug safety environment in Pakistan. Universities are seeking collaboration to teach PV. Even local pharma companies are highlighting the issue with CSR initiatives like “PharmAssist”which offers optimized capacity building workshops for healthcare professionals concerning rational medication usage & emphasize on patient safety as a core responsibility of all stakeholders of healthcare system.
A functional PV system can contribute significantly to reduce patient suffering and promote the safe and rational use of drugs and this will have a significant impact on the quality of health care delivery, patient care, patient safety, and promotion of public health in general.
As a pharmacist trained in public health and pharmacovigilance I worked in three continents for the last decade in medical affairs, regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance. As a committed drug safety advocate I had the opportunity to contribute in various assessments, campaigns and working groups. I am currently involved in a capacity building project on Pharmacovigilance with Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.