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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 316-319

Teaching pharmacovigilance to medical students and doctors

Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
P Ravi Shankar
Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.27698

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The World Health Organisation defines pharmacovigilance as 'the pharmacological science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem'. Pharmacovigilance plays an important role in ensuring drug safety. Hence,every country needs a functioning pharmacovigilance programme. Pharmacovigilance is being taught, in theory, in many developed countries, but the practical approach is missing in developing countries. Pharmacovigilance should ideally be taught to small groups of medical students, interns, postgraduates and practitioners by linking it to the activities of a functioning pharmacovigilance centre in a teaching hospital. It should be activity-based, problem-based and linked to the rational use of medicines. Students should be trained during their internship and residency. The non-inclusion of pharmacovigilance in university syllabi and unfamiliarity with problem-based learning could prove to be stumbling blocks to the success of the concept. Pharmacologists should create awareness on pharmacovigilance among doctors of other specialities and enlist their support in teaching the subject.


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