‘Strengthening pharmacovigilance will stop prescription drug abuse’
The Senate roundtable to address substance abuse epidemic in Nigeria has recommended strengthening of pharcovigilance to stop prescription medication misuse.
Pharmacovigilance (PV or PhV), also known as drug safety, is the pharmacological science relating to the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects with pharmaceutical products.
The National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) situated in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC—the drug regulatory agency in Nigeria) coordinates Pharmacovigilance activities in Nigeria.
NPC serves as a repository for reported adverse drug reactions from health workers and also liaises with other international groups such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency in improving drug safety in Nigeria.
President Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ahmed I. Yakasai, during a two-day roundtable held in Kano said the current pharmacovigilance systems need to be strengthened to address the challenges encouraging prescription medication abuse.
Yakasai said the priority areas that need to be addressed include improved detection and accurate diagnosis of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) by healthcare providers and patients.
The PSN President called for active surveillance of specific drug safety concerns through epidemiological methods such as case control studies, record linkage and epidemiological studies and indeed implementation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) based technology to facilitate surveillance.
The pharmacist recommended special activities and expertise required for the detection of safety concerns related to vaccines, biologicals, veterinary medicines, herbal medicines, biotechnology products and investigational drugs.
Yakasai called for improved signal detection systems by facilitating the rapid availability of ADR data that may have international relevance as well as development and implementation of ADR detection systems that could benefit populations with restricted access to health care.
He said there should be assessment of ADRs through further development of automated signal detection systems used in spontaneous monitoring programmes and improvements in assessment of drug safety concerns that are of international relevance.
Also, the PSN on Friday, December 15, 2017 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bio-generics Nigeria Limited on Award for Professional Integrity for Pharmacist in public health hospitals in Nigeria.
The award prize is N1million to be presented during the opening ceremony of PSN Annual National Conference. This is to encourage high ethical standard, commitment and integrity in the discharge of pharmaceutical services to the generality of Nigerian populace, as well as improving overall patient care.
The Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bio-generics, Osak Uwubanmwen, was ably represented by his General Manager, Osamede Uwubanmwen, and product Manager, Saromi John.
Supporting the PSN President were the National Secretary, Emeka Duru, and National Treasurer, Adeniyi Adefolake.
Also, the PSN has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his 75th Birthday. The PSN in a letter dated December 18, 2017 and titled Birthday Congratulations noted: “On behalf of the National Executive Committee, Council and the entire members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, I write to convey hearty congratulations to you on this occasion of your 75th Birthday Anniversary.
“We pray Almighty God to grant you strength, good health and wisdom to continue to lead the good people of Nigeria.
“Once again accept our congratulations.”
Meanwhile, Yakasai also called for greater collaborative links both at local and international level that could allow countries to assess and respond appropriately to drug safety crises.
He recommended consideration of methods by which information on local patterns of drug use can be integrated with pharmacovigilance information during assessment of benefit and harm at a national level.