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Drug Diligence 2017 held in Coimbatore

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Discussions were held about the importance of pharmacovigilance

Dr YK Gupta, Professor & Head of the Department of Pharmacology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, who is also the National Scientific Coordinator of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India) inaugurated Drug Diligence 2017, a national level conference and workshop on pharmacovigilance was recently organised in Coimbatore on account of the fifth anniversary of Oviya MedSafe – a Coimbatore and London-based organisation providing global pharmacovigilance consulting and drug safety services to the pharmaceutical industry. The conference was organised and conducted by Coimbatore-based event management firm VHEO Ventures in knowledge partnership with Oviya MedSafe. More than 250 delegates, most of them being doctors and pharmacists attended the conference.

Dr Gupta was the Chief Guest and delivered a keynote address on ‘Evolution of Pharmacovigilance in India’. In his address, he spoke about different stages of drug development including molecular modelling, animal studies and phases of clinical trials and further explained how adverse drug reactions can be identified and reported to drug regulatory authorities. He briefed about periodic safety update reports and signal detection. He elucidated on how benefit-risk balance of a medicinal product is assessed and answered the question on why India is using drugs which are banned in many other countries. Apart from sharing his perspectives on the overall safety of medicinal products, he highlighted that there is tremendous scope and lots of job opportunities in this field of pharmacovigilance taking up which means genuine service to the mankind.

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Dr N Shanthi, Professor & Head of the Department of Pharmacology, Coimbatore Medical College, Coimbatore was the Guest of Honour. In her address, she said that if the mind knows the eyes will see. She encouraged the students to get oriented with pharmacovigilance and choose it as a career opportunity. She expressed pride that Dr Vijay was her student and she appreciated him for taking the lead in promoting academia-industry collaboration in pharmacovigilance, which is much needed for advancing the science further.

Indu Nambiar, Senior Manager – Local Pharmacovigilance, Boehringer Ingelheim India, Mumbai, shared her perspective about the importance of having a robust pharmacovigilance system in place. She highlighted that the continuous improvement is the key for keeping quality in the drugs and pharmacovigilance plays a major role in enabling the product quality, which serves the general public in patient safety. She recalled her interactions with Dr Vijay on various professional forums about pharmacovigilance issues in India and appreciated his efforts in bringing together industry pharmacovigilance professionals for a dialogue with various policy-makers which is anticipated to result in more clarity on pharmacovigilance aspects and regulations for every stakeholder.”

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Vasumathi Sriganesh, Honorary CEO, QMed Knowledge Foundation, Mumbai offered her felicitation. She highlighted the fact that how pharmacovigilance as a discipline is a significant component of patient safety measures and encouraged students to take up the opportunity of learning and practise pharmacovigilance. She emphasised the fact that the expertise in publishing and searching medical and scientific literature for information on adverse drug effects in the right manner is very important for medical and pharmaceutical industry professionals alike, as such literature is both a source and outlet of safety data. She expressed immense happiness at Oviya MedSafe’s growth in the discipline of pharmacovigilance in balance with their passionate scientific pursuit for Patient Safety.

Dr J Vijay Venkatraman, MD and CEO, Oviya MedSafe, spoke about the journey of Oviya MedSafe. He remarked that Oviya MedSafe has addressed the knowledge and affordability deficit in the pharma industry in terms of pharmacovigilance services.

The function ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr CJ Arun Raja, Orthopaedic Surgeon at KTVR Group Hospital and Director of Oviya MedSafe.

A paper presentation contest for medical and pharmacy students was conducted on the theme of ‘Pharmacovigilance’, as part of Drug Diligence 2017. The winners and participants were awarded by the dignitaries in the valedictory function held at the end of the day. The event had been awarded 20 CME Credit Points by the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University under Category III.

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