Drug Safety Matters

Drug Safety Matters

Drug Safety Matters brings you the best stories from the world of pharmacovigilance. Through in-depth interviews with our guests, we cover new research and trends, and explore the most pressing issues in medicines safety today. Produced by Uppsala Monitoring Centre, the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring.

Episodes

May 27, 2021 21 min

While COVID-19 vaccinations are picking up speed in many wealthy countries, citizens of lower-income countries still face a long wait ­– and where demand exceeds supply, black markets tend to form. So to curb the spread of substandard and falsified products, says drug regulatory specialist Danini Marin, we must ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed equitably around the world.

This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long ...

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is not only a biological issue, but a complex social problem. As a consequence, changing the way patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers think about antibiotics will require input from both the natural and social sciences. In March 2021, the Uppsala Health Summit on “Managing antimicrobial resistance through behaviour change” tackled this very problem. We spoke to three key participants – ...

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As the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, so did waves of viral misinformation. For pharmacovigilance manager Marco Tuccori, fighting the “infodemic” is a massive, but necessary, battle.

This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – the most topical stories from UMC’s pharmacovigilance magazine, brought to you in audio format. Find the original article here.

After the read, Marco tells us how the pandemic ha...

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By definition, a rare disease is one that only affects a handful of people in the world. But with more than 300 million people collectively affected by these conditions and only few approved treatments available, rare diseases constitute a major unmet medical need. Christina Ström Möller from Swedish biopharmaceutical company Sobi walks us through the scientific, commercial and human challenges of the rare disease landscape.

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As the cradle of modern humanity, the African continent is home to populations with high levels of genetic diversity. But while this diversity has implications for the safety and efficacy of many drugs, African patients remain underrepresented in drug studies. In fact, while more than 400 medicines have pharmacogenetics information and public guidelines available, only 15 have been studied in African populations. Thankfully efforts...

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In the age of evidence-based medicine, we may be tempted to dismiss intuition – the quick and automatic thought process we call “sixth sense” or “gut feeling” – as unscientific guesswork. But in clinical decision-making, intuitive reasoning is just as important as the slower and more analytical causal reasoning that healthcare professionals are trained in. In fact, without it we would hardly be able to formulate new hypotheses.

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In November 2020, longstanding UMC director Marie Lindquist began her well-earned retirement, leaving the reins of the organisation to her successor Hervé Le Louët. As she prepared to open a new chapter in her life, she sat down with Uppsala Reports to take a fond look back at an extraordinary career: a 40-year-long path that began with a knock on the door and turned her into one of the world’s leading advocates for patient safety.

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Medication errors with vaccines can harm individual patients, but when they also undermine trust in public health programmes, serious problems can ripple across entire communities – as the Samoan healthcare crisis of 2018 dramatically showed. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices offers straightforward advice that could prevent those errors from happening again.

This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – t...

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Clinical trials are the “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine – the best way we have to test whether a drug is safe and effective before it enters the market. But if trial data is poorly reported or – even worse – left unpublished, how are we supposed to determine the true value of a medical treatment? Peter Doshi from the RIAT Support Center has made it his mission to fix the problem and improve data transparency for good.

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Communication and public outreach are an important part of a scientist’s job. But researchers often find it daunting to translate their expert knowledge for a lay audience. In this episode, UMC’s video producer Matthew Barwick shares a report from the Global Science Film Festival 2019, including interviews with festival organiser Samer Angelone and other participants. Tag along to learn their best tips for effective science communi...

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When reporting adverse reactions to drugs, people can choose from a plethora of different terms to describe their experience. But that makes it difficult and time-consuming for analysts to tell how similar two case safety reports are. A new method developed by UMC data scientist Lucie Gattepaille comes to the rescue.

This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – the most topical stories from UMC’s pharmacovigilance...

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How do we minimise the harm caused to patients by medicines and medical devices? In October 2019, a diverse, multi-stakeholder group met in Erice, Italy and drew up a 10-point plan for improving patient safety worldwide.

This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – the most topical stories from UMC’s pharmacovigilance magazine, brought to you in audio format. Find the original article here.

After the read, we reach...

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Herbal substances can be found in a number of pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetics and food supplements – so it's not surprising that using plant names inconsistently can have serious health consequences. But with so much confusion around medicinal plant names, it’s easy to get it wrong. Bob Allkin from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew explains what we can do about it.

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  • How common, scientific and pharmaceutical plant nam...
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    As the end users of medicines, patients can provide first-hand information on side effects. The issues they report add a richness to our understanding of medicine safety that we could never achieve by relying on healthcare professionals’ reports alone – so it’s crucial that we listen to them. Linda Härmark from the Netherlands pharmacovigilance centre Lareb tells us more.

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  • What patient reports reveal about people’...
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    Most of us want healthcare to be both patient-centric and evidence-based. But are those two goals compatible? Can we tailor healthcare to our unique circumstances­, while relying on the average statistical measurements that scientific evidence is based on? Emerging ideas in the philosophy of science are challenging a rigid reliance on evidence-based medicine and offering a more nuanced understanding of patient safety.

    This episode i...

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    Most women are prescribed some form of medication during their pregnancy. Yet we know very little about the safety of those medicines when they’re used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. New collaborative efforts are now underway to plug that knowledge gap.

    This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – the most topical stories from UMC’s pharmacovigilance magazine, brought to you in audio format. Find the text vers...

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    January 27, 2020 28 min

    Fake medicines claim at least 200,000 lives every year, with the World Health Organization estimating that 1 in 10 medicines worldwide is now substandard or falsified. But with the market in illicit drugs worth up to $200 billion a year, and traffickers more likely to face a fine than jail time when they are caught, the financial incentives far outweigh the deterrents. So how do we put a stop to this deadly trade? Drug Safety Matte...

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