Pharmacovigilance Programme of India’s National Co-ordination Committee should consider roping in pharmacy colleges in the country to expand the patient safety reporting, according to Dr Shobha Rani R. Hiremath, principal, Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy.
“The move would generate more evidence based information on safety of medicines and minimize the risk. The need of the hour is to promote rational use of medicines. Currently, only medical college hospitals have dedicated pharmacovigilance cells. It would be better if pharmacy colleges are included in this programme going by the expertise of faculty in clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice,” Dr Hiremath, told Pharmabiz.
Pharmacovigilance Programme of India’s (PvPI) initial focus has been to sign up all Medical Council of India (MCI) approved medical colleges in the programme pan-India. The effort was to persuade medical practitioners into the reporting of adverse reaction to drugs, vaccines, medical devices and biological products. The healthcare professionals at the ADR (adverse drug reporting) centres in hospitals collect the case reports and tabulate the data. There are efforts to expand the pharmacovigilance programme to all hospitals both the government and private sector.
Dr Hiremath said that with the introduction of Pharm D, there is a closer connect with leading hospitals in the country to be associated with PvPI. The big advantage for these candidates is the clinical knowledge that they gather from these hospital sites. The Pharm D candidates have a better understanding on the drug reactions because of their exposure to a host of clinical subjects like for instance the pharma therapeutics, clinical research, pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology.
Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka’s oldest government medical centre Victoria Hospital and the missionary managed St. Martha’s Hospital, Bengaluru a decade ago. “Our department of pharmacy was one of the peripheral centres of Pharmacovigilance Programme of India with an objective to monitor adverse drug reactions”, said Dr Hiremath adding that students of M Pharm (Pharmacy Practice) and Ph.D. have worked closely with these healthcare providers.
A couple of years ago Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy also entered into a memorandum of understanding with St. Philomena’s Hospital for the conduct of Pharm D programme. “This pact has further given an opportunity where the Pharm D students from 4th, 5th and 6th years are mandated to be in the hospital for projects and internship. Currently, ADR monitoring is being carried out at St. Martha’s Hospital and St. Philomena’s Hospital, Bengaluru,” stated Dr Hiremath.
“There is no doubt that Pharm D programme molds candidates to be better equipped to work in a hospital setting. Therefore, including pharmacy colleges into the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India would expand the patient safety reporting,” stated Dr Hiremath.