We are pleased to report that the first meeting of the newly established Advisory Committee on Safety of Medicinal Products was held in October. This meeting was very productive and a number of recommendations as published in this issue were made. A statement was made by this Committee recommending the need to incorporate pharmacovigilance in the WHO strategy to provide antiretrovirals to three million people by 2005. The feature article emphasizes the urgency in evolving a safety strategy for herbal issues as these remain largely un-addressed.
Representatives from WHO attended the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) expert working group meetings in November, in Osaka, as observers. The document Pharmacovigilance Planning, which describes the link between pre- and post-marketing surveillance will now be circulated to Member States for comments. The 26th Annual Meeting of the National Centres participating in the International Drug Monitoring Programme will be held in December, in India. The meeting will focus on ADR reporting and how it can be improved. A detailed report of this meeting will appear in one of the later issues.