All medicines have adverse effects as well as benefits. The aim of pharmacovigilance is to protect public health by monitoring medicines to identify and evaluate issues and ensure that the overall benefits outweigh the potential risks. The tools and processes used in pharmacovigilance are continually evolving. Increasingly sophisticated tools are being designed to evaluate safety data from clinical trials to enhance the likelihood of detecting safety signals ahead of product registration. Methods include integration of safety data throughout development, meta-analytical techniques, quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluation of adverse event data and graphical tools to explore laboratory and biometric data. Electronic data capture facilitates monitoring of ongoing studies so that it is possible to promptly identify potential issues and manage patient safety. In addition, GSK employs a number of proactive methods for post-marketing signal detection and knowledge management using state-of-the-art statistical and analytical tools. Using these tools, together with safety data collected through pharmacoepidemiologic studies, literature and spontaneous reporting, potential adverse drug reactions can be better identified in marketed products. In summary, the information outlined in this paper provides a valuable benchmark for risk management and pharmacovigilance in pharmaceutical development.
Keywords: Risk management, benefit-risk, pharmaceutical safety, pharmacovigilance, safety data mining, signal detection
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