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Pharma experts discuss the role of Pharmacovigilance; need for adverse drug reaction reporting

Apeejay’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences along with its knowledge partners host a Skill Development Programme on Pharmacovigilance



The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS) at Apeejay Stya University in association with knowledge partners Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA), Delhi State Branch (DSB), Walter Bushnell Pvt Ltd., and Martin and Harris Labs Ltd. is hosting a Skill Development Programme on Pharmacovigilance (PV) The theme for this event is “Boosting Public Confidence in Pharmacovigilance”.

The five-day event commenced with lighting the ceremonial lamp followed by a graceful Saraswati Vandana dance performance by Apeejay students.  Dr. Anupama Diwan,  Dean at SPS along with Dr. DK Majumdar, Professor at Apeejay,  welcomed the guest speakers with plant saplings.

Throwing light on how PV is an essential component of drug safety and monitoring, Dr. Diwan delivered the opening address. She emphasised the need of reporting adverse drug reactions and how reporting may help to safeguard from noxious and unintended reactions from medicines. “Adverse effect reporting is not high-tech science; it’s about behaviour modulation. Be it a member of the general public or a pharmacist, it’s our collective responsibility to foster a culture where reporting side effects  of any medication becomes a behaviour. Unintended side effects of medication can only be addressed when we start with pharmacists, as they are the frontline guardians of our communities.” She further urged budding pharmacists to be proactively involved in reporting of Adverse Drug Reaction to spread awareness among the general public about the ways of reporting.

The presentations by industry experts during the Skill Development Programme encompassed topics such as the inception of pharmacovigilance, recent advancements in the field, and the necessary qualifications and skill sets essential for pursuing a career in this domain.

Keynote presentations

The scientific session started with a keynote address by Dr. Vivek Ahuja, Senior Vice President, Pharmacovigilance, Quality & Regulatory at EVERSANA. He addressed the audience on “Safeguarding tomorrow’s health: A dialogue on the future of patient safety with leaders of tomorrow”. He explained how AI holds immense potential in future patient safety, with its ability to analyse vast healthcare data swiftly and accurately. It can predict and prevent adverse events, enhancing early detection of risks. Dr Ahuja also mentioned AI-driven decision support systems aid healthcare professionals in making more informed and timely choices. “Ultimately, AI promises to revolutionise patient safety by reducing errors and improving overall healthcare outcomes,” he highlighted.

He further motivated students to be leaders for tomorrow, by learning from life with education, training, skill upliftment, exposure to problems, experiencing the challenges, seeking help, preparing yourself to take risks to achieve success in life. 

An invigorating session on ADR 

The second session was by Ms Sugandha Sharma, Pharmacovigilance Associate, Pharmacovigilance Program of India, (PvPI), Indian Pharmaceutical Commission (IPC). She addressed the enthusiastic audience on “Pharmacovigilance & ADR Reporting”. During the session, Ms Sharma delved into the functioning of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI) and its various ADR monitoring centers across the country, offering a comprehensive status update on ADR monitoring activities. The audience also gained valuable insights into the channels available for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as guidance on how and to whom these reports should be submitted. 

The speaker further elaborated on the PvPI report form, offering practical guidance for efficient reporting. Furthermore, the session highlighted government initiatives aimed at raising public awareness regarding ADR reporting, underlining the collective effort to enhance pharmacovigilance and ensure the safety of healthcare interventions.

Subsequently, Ms. Bhawna Gupta, Director Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, New Delhi conducted a session on “Career Perspective in Regulatory & Pharmacovigilance”. She highlighted, “Career prospects in Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance are burgeoning in the pharmaceutical industry. Professionals in these fields play a pivotal role in ensuring drug safety, compliance with regulations, and timely approvals. With increasing global regulatory complexities and the need for stringent monitoring, there is a high demand for experts in these domains. This presents promising opportunities for individuals aspiring to build rewarding careers in ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products.”

Final round

Finally, Mr. Kalhan Bazaz, President of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA), Delhi State Branch, provided a comprehensive overview of the branch’s activities. He emphasised the significance of IPA membership, highlighting its role in fostering skill development, facilitating networking opportunities, granting access to industry magazines and journals, and enabling participation in seminars and conferences at reduced fees. Mr. Bazaz underscored how IPA membership can be an asset for professionals in the pharmaceutical sector seeking continuous growth and engagement. 

A session was also delivered by Mr. Ashish, Head of IPA, DSB Student Council Forum, who highlighted about the process to be a member of IPA.

The first day 1 of the five-day invigorating event concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Shital Patel followed by a group photograph of all participants and guests. 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay Newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.