Opinion - International Journal of Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Biological Sciences ( 2023) Volume 13, Issue 4

Pharmacovigilance: Safeguarding Public Health through Drug Safety

Laurel Castillo*
Department of Medical and Clinical Pharmacology, Toulouse University, France
*Corresponding Author:
Laurel Castillo, Department of Medical and Clinical Pharmacology, Toulouse University, France,

Received: 29-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. ijpcbs-23-121831; Editor assigned: 01-Dec-2023, Pre QC No. ijpcbs-23-121831 (PQ); Reviewed: 15-Dec-2023, QC No. ijpcbs-23-121831; Revised: 20-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. ijpcbs-23-121831 (R); Published: 27-Dec-2023, DOI: 10.36648/2471-9668-13.4.5


Pharmacovigilance, tracing back to the 16th century Serpentarius manuscripts on adverse reactions to herbal remedies, gained momentum in the 20th century after the thalidomide tragedy. The 1960s saw the establishment of WHO’s Program for International Drug Monitoring, leading to the formation of regulatory agencies. Systems for spontaneous reporting emerged in the 1970s-80s, evolving into standardized reporting with international collaboration by the 1990s-2000s. Modern pharmacovigilance focuses on advanced data analysis, technology integration, and proactive risk management, marking a shift toward proactive safety measures in the 21st century. Pharmacovigilance stands at the forefront of ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications, playing a pivotal role in public health. It encompasses the continuous monitoring, assessment, and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problems after a pharmaceutical product’s approval and release into the market. Pharmacovigilance is crucial for identifying, evaluating, and minimizing risks associated with medications, promoting patient safety, and improving the quality of healthcare. It covers a wide spectrum of activities, including the detection of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), monitoring drug safety during clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance, and ensuring timely communication of safety information. During drug development and clinical trials, pharmacovigilance involves assessing safety and efficacy to obtain regulatory approval for market release.


After a drug enters the market, continuous monitoring of adverse effects, patient outcomes, and real-world safety data takes place to detect any previously unidentified risks. Establishing robust reporting systems for healthcare professionals, consumers, and pharmaceutical companies to report suspected adverse reactions. Analyzing reported data to detect potential safety signals or emerging risks associated with medications. Assessing the severity and frequency of adverse effects to manage risks effectively. This may involve regulatory interventions, label updates, or even product recalls. Health authorities such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and World Health Organization (WHO) play vital roles in overseeing pharmacovigilance activities globally. Collaboration between countries and regulatory bodies facilitates the exchange of safety information and harmonization of pharmacovigilance practices. Many adverse drug reactions go unreported due to lack of awareness, time constraints, or uncertainty about causality, leading to incomplete safety data. Analyzing vast amounts of data and distinguishing between causal relationships and coincidental events is a complex task in pharmacovigilance. Incorporating emerging technologies and managing big data present challenges in effectively utilizing new sources of safety information. Implementation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data mining techniques to enhance signal detection and analysis.


Pharmacovigilance stands as an indispensable part of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare system. As new drugs and treatments continue to evolve, the importance of rigorous monitoring and assessment of their safety profiles remains paramount. Continuous advancements in pharmacovigilance methodologies, coupled with international collaboration and innovation, are vital in ensuring the ongoing safety and efficacy of medications for the global population. This article aims to provide insights into the multifaceted field of pharmacovigilance, highlighting its significance in safeguarding public health and fostering ongoing efforts to enhance drug safety and patient well-being.