Dr Ralph Edwards, WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring
A few years ago, the major players in the pharmacovigilance information process met in Erice, Italy. The deliberations from this conference became the Erice Declaration, which sets out the principles of good communication practices.
The Declaration stated that industry, doctors, and patients have different - but not contradictory - points of view when questions of drug safety are at issue. Trust and partnerships among the groups was considered important, and a wider public debate was deemed desirable in order to help the public better understand risk. Crisis management is also an important matter where communication plays a major role. Several aspects of the communication of benefit-risk information were outlined in the Declaration.