The management of the risks associated with the use of medicines demands close and effective collaboration between the key players in the field of pharmacovigilance. Sustained commitment to such collaboration is vital if the future challenges in pharmacovigilance are to be met, and if the discipline is to continue to develop and flourish. Those responsible must jointly anticipate, describe and respond to the continually increasing demands and expectations of the public, health administrators, policy officials, politicians and health professionals. However, there is little prospect of this happening in the absence of sound and comprehensive systems which make such collaboration possible. The constraints typically include lack of training, resources, political support, and most especially scientific infrastructure. Understanding and tackling these are an essential prerequisite for future development of the science and practice of pharmacovigilance.
Box 3 Monitoring the safety of medicines: key partners
• Hospitals and academia
• Medical and pharmaceutical associations
• Poisons and medicines centres information
• Health professionals
• The media
• World Health Organization