'Sustainable Global Pharmacovigilance' Systems Needed To Monitor ARVs, Other Drugs

With more widespread access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs “comes a greater need to monitor and promote the safety and effectiveness of these essential medicines in the new environments, which are distinct from those of pre-market studies and the resource rich countries that have had ARV access for years. Without sufficient monitoring systems in place, we can’t efficiently identify and stop counterfeiting of ARV drugs,” Jur Strobos, deputy director of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, and Andy Stergachis, professor of epidemiology and global health and director of the Global Medicines Program at School of Public Health at the University of Washington, write in an opinion piece in The Scientist.

The authors discuss efforts to create “potential solutions to the implementation of sustainable global pharmacovigilance,” including regional collaborations and public-private partnerships, which “could be established nationally, regionally or even globally, with funding from international donors as well as pharmaceutical companies that could also contribute technical support.” They conclude, “Sustainable global pharmacovigilance requires re-thinking how reports of patient events around the world can be generated, coded, and analyzed but the future of safe and effective medicines requires it” (8/31).