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#1010 The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) are soon planning to come out with a guidance document training module for community pharmacists in the country. They have already started the process of developing this module so as to strengthen the role and ensure full fledged involvement of community pharmacists in the adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting process.

This will be first ever initiative to actively associate with pharmacists community on a national level and bolster their role in the the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI). Interestingly, this also shows the growing role and dependence of pharmacists in the over-all healthcare spectrum.

Dr V Kalaiselvan, principal scientific officer, Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, informed that to adopt patient safety measures and ensure overall success of the PvPI, it is utmost important to involve pharmacists in the ADR process. Being the primary link between the patients and the drugs, they can play a vital role in timely and effective reporting of ADRs across the country. Their role will be especially important to track and ensure the safety of over the counter (OTC) products, stressed Dr. Kalaiselvan.

“We do understand that pharmacist, as a part of the healthcare team, is a vital source of both information and critical evaluation of drug information. Thus we plan to encompass all these features in the guidance document as a pharmacist’s expertise is vital to the application of the safety profile of a medicine,” he added.

With this move the IPC, which acts as the national coordinating centre (NCC) for the PvPI has now called for the presence of pharmacists in every district hospital to strengthen the monitoring of ADRs.

According to Manjiri Gharat, chairperson, IPA CPD, this move will be a win-win situation for all, as it will further enable ADR monitoring and reporting to ensure patient safety. She informed, “There has been increased number of drug related queries from pharmacists in PvPI compared to last year. Pharmacists are proactively showing interest to promote a greater awareness about ADRs and other drug-related problems with emphasis on their significance, recognition, management and prevention as an important instruction to promote rational and safe prescription practices. We really appreciate all the efforts put in by the experts involved in the PvPI for this initiative and the subsequent success. Keen to be a part of this great initiative we are looking forward to engage community pharmacists in PvPI.”

She further stressed that early detection of ADRs and other drug-related problems as well as monitoring the effectiveness of medicines is an important clinical responsibility of the pharmacist which if leveraged properly can play a huge role in strengthening the PvPI.
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