As always, this issue features drug safety and regulatory information from Member States. But, equally, as always, the vast majority of the information has been collated from the ‘usual’ contributors. The newsletter aims to provide uniform, global and unbiased exchange of information, an objective that can be truly achieved only with the full participation of all concerned. We take this opportunity to once again request all Member States to provide us with active updates on drug safety information. WHO contact details are posted on the outside cover of the newsletter for your convenience.
In recent weeks there has been some interest in the 'old' drug thalidomide. The drug has been used in treating some of the complications in leprosy and more recently some rare forms of cancer. The feature article on thalidomide discusses some of the issues concerning the reintroduction of this drug.
At the end of March, beginning of April a training course on pharmacovigilance was held in Lusaka, Zambia. This was a training course with a difference in that the focus was on antimalarial drugs. In the months to come, this initiative will be consolidated through appropriate country support. New projects are being planned to further the concept of drug safety in public health programmes. A full report of the Lusaka training course will be available in the next issue of the newsletter.