SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
MEHTA, U et al. Strengthening pharmacovigilance in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.2, pp.104-106. ISSN 2078-5135.
This report outlines findings and recommendations of a national pharmacovigilance workshop held in August 2012 in South Africa (SA). A survey of current pharmacovigilance activities, conducted in preparation for the meeting, identified multiple programmes collecting drug safety data in SA, with limited co-ordination at national level. The meeting resolved that existing pharmacovigilance programmes need to be strengthened and consolidated to ensure that important local safety issues are addressed, data can be pooled and compared and outputs shared more widely. Pharmacovigilance activities should inform treatment guidelines with the goal of improving patient care. A variety of pharmaco-epidemiological approaches should be employed, including nesting drug safety studies within existing sentinel cohorts and the creation of a pregnancy exposure registry. The attendees agreed on key principles that will inform a national pharmacovigilance plan and compiled a list of priority pharmacovigilance issues facing public health programmes in SA.