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Information technology in pharmacovigilance: Benefits, challenges, and future directions from industry perspectives

Authors Lu Z

Published 15 October 2009 Volume 2009:1 Pages 35—45


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Zhengwu Lu

Clinical Research Department, Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Abstract: Risk assessment during clinical product development needs to be conducted in a thorough and rigorous manner. However, it is impossible to identify all safety concerns during controlled clinical trials. Once a product is marketed, there is generally a large increase in the number of patients exposed, including those with comorbid conditions and those being treated with concomitant medications. Therefore, postmarketing safety data collection and clinical risk assessment based on observational data are critical for evaluating and characterizing a product’s risk profile and for making informed decisions on risk minimization. Information science promises to deliver effective e-clinical or e-health solutions to realize several core benefits: time savings, high quality, cost reductions, and increased efficiencies with safer and more efficacious medicines. The development and use of standard-based pharmacovigilance system with integration connection to electronic medical records, electronic health records, and clinical data management system holds promise as a tool for enabling early drug safety detections, data mining, results interpretation, assisting in safety decision making, and clinical collaborations among clinical partners or different functional groups. The availability of a publicly accessible global safety database updated on a frequent basis would further enhance detection and communication about safety issues. Due to recent high-profile drug safety problems, the pharmaceutical industry is faced with greater regulatory enforcement and increased accountability demands for the protection and welfare of patients. This changing climate requires biopharmaceutical companies to take a more proactive approach in dealing with drug safety and pharmacovigilance.

Keywords: information technology, pharmacovigilance, safety, standard, risk management, adverse event, adverse drug reaction

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