This issue is the last of the year 2002. This has been a particularly important year for us in the safety team in WHO with several publications and many international meetings highlighting the importance of safety monitoring of medicines. The annual meeting of National Centres participating in the WHO Programme, which was held in Amsterdam, was again a great success. Topics ranged from describing pharmaco-vigilance in developing countries to detailing the most recent advances in pharmacovigilance in developed countries.
One of the interesting topics at this meeting was a session on poisons centres. In this issue we are publishing an article based on the discussions during the meeting. It is clear that the aims of poisons centres and pharmacovigilance centres are very much the same and that much more collaboration is needed in this area. Future discussions will focus on how existing systems of surveillance used by the pharmaco-vigilance centres around the world may be used to further the objectives of the poisons centres.
The broad aim of this newsletter is to bring together recent information on drug safety and regulatory measures from around the world. To make this communication more effective and global, we take this opportunity to encourage our member countries and their pharmacovigilance centres to keep us posted for all recent drug safety observations and regulatory measures enforced in their countries; copies of regional adverse drug reactions newsletters, where available, would be particularly appreciated. We wish all our readers the very best in the year 2003.