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WHO Collaborating Centre for pharmacovigilance launched at IPC Ghaziabad

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National Strategic Plan for Scale up of Pharmacovigilance in India and Pharmacovigilance Guidelines for Stakeholders were also launched

NCC-PvPI, IPC has recently been launched as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacovigilance in Public Health Programmes and Regulatory Services on at IPC Ghaziabad. The event also witnessed the launch of ‘National Strategic Plan for Scale up of Pharmacovigilance in India,’ and ‘Pharmacovigilance Guidelines for Stakeholders’. As part of the event, a technical session on ‘WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge – Medication without Harm’ was also organised.

Dr RK Vats, Additional Secretary, MoH&FW, at his inaugural address, said, “Integrating pharmacovigilance as an essential component of public health programmes (PHPs) is crucial for patient safety.” Reflecting the government’s strong commitment, he added, “The Prime Minister has a vision focussing on the universal healthcare agenda so as to provide all Indian citizens, regardless of their economic, social or cultural backgrounds the right to affordable, and quality medical products.” On behalf of MoH&FW, he assured to extend all kind of support to PvPI.

Prakin Suchaxaya, Coordinator, Health Programmes, WHO Country Office for India, said, “WHO has been playing a pivotal role in supporting countries in strengthening the pharmacovigilance systems for medical products and in promoting equitable access to quality, safe, efficacious, and affordable medical products. WHO also provides technical and operational assistance towards strengthening of India’s National Regulatory Authority (NRA). The endeavour is to scale-up the support to public health programmes and develop a strong regulatory network for India and South East Asian Countries.”

Dr Clive Ondari, Coordinator, Safety & Vigilance, WHO, appreciated India’s concerted efforts in the area of pharmacovigilance and welcomed India to play a bigger role in the global landscape of adverse drug reaction (ADR) monitoring, thus making India a hub for pharmacovigilance in public health programmes and regulatory services. This would be the first WHO CC on this theme globally and the first in the entire WHO South East Asia Region.

The other prominent dignitaries who attended the inaugural session were: Dr Nitya Anand, Dr KK Aggarwal, Dr Shanthi Pal, WHO headquarters, Dr Raj Long, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Manisha Shridhar, WHO SEARO, Dr Hilde De Greave, Dr Madhur Gupta, WHO India Country Office, Dr V Kalaiselvan, Principal Scientific Officer NCC-PvPI, IPC.

An international team of experts from WHO headquarters, South East Asia Regional Office, WHO Country Office, senior officials from the MoH&FW, officials from CDSCO and its affiliated institutions, various public health programme stakeholders, Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centre (AMC) Coordinators, industry representatives, relevant stakeholders, representatives from various academic and research institutes and all IPC officials were present at the occasion.

Scientist Dr Nitya Anand was felicitated during this event for his lifetime contribution in field of pharmaceutical sciences and research.

Dr GN Singh, Secretary-Cum-Scientific Director, IPC and Drugs Controller General (India) during his welcomed address said, “Pharmacovigilance and drug safety monitoring is of pivotal importance, for improving treatment support and adherence. The Pharmacovigilance Programme of India and its integration with public health programmes has been noteworthy. It is vital to ensure that adequate systems and practices for reporting adverse drug reactions are in place to ensure that the benefit of use of medicine outweighs the risks associated with its use.” He also extended his sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr Surinder Singh, Director National Institute of Biologicals, Noida and Dr SK Gupta, Distinguished Professor & Head Clinical Research, DIPSRU, for his pioneer work in field of pharmacovigilance in India.

Dr Singh also assured to WHO representatives that WHO-Collaborative Centre in India shall strive to deliver the best and also provide all relevant assistance for countries in SEARN and beyond to have their own pharmacovigilance system in place. PvPI shall also venture to share the knowledge and expertise in this field with global stakeholders adding further to that the advice of WHO shall be compiled with in letter and spirit.

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