APMEN TechTalks | Pharmacovigilance of Antimalarial Drugs

7th November 2022

APMEN TechTalks | Pharmacovigilance of Antimalarial Drugs

Pharmacovigilance system strengthening has been identified by the Asia Pacific National Malaria Programs as a key priority to support vivax malaria elimination, through an extensive prioritization exercise conducted by the APMEN Vivax Working Group. In this webinar, a panel of experts from WHO, Thai FDA, and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) discussed how pharmacovigilance of antimalarial drugs can be strengthened and integrated into research and routine public health systems.

The panelists included: 

Dr. Shanthi Pal, the team lead for pharmacovigilance at the WHO, Geneva. Dr. Pal gave an overview of pharmacovigilance and emphasized applying smart principles to focus efforts on assessed pharmacovigilance gaps and commensurate with the available resources.

Dr. Watcharee Rungapiromnan, pharmacist, professional level, at the Thai FDA’s Health Product Vigilance Center (HPVC). Dr. Rungapiromnan elaborated on how the HPVC has integrated adverse events reporting into an ongoing feasibility study on G6PD near-patient tests and tafenoquine in Thailand. 

Dr. Obaidullah, the Director of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan. Dr. Obaidullah gave a brief account of pharmacovigilance in the public health system of Pakistan and its coordination with the malaria program.

Pharmacovigilance is the cornerstone of drug safety. It helps to ensure that the drugs approved for use are safe, effective, and reliable. To this end, countries have developed a range of national pharmacovigilance systems that provide information on adverse events, drug efficacy, safety issues, and drug interactions. However, the pharmacovigilance of antimalarial drugs remains limited in the Asia Pacific region. Thus, improving the pharmacovigilance system would increase the confidence of national malaria programs and ministries of health in detecting adverse effects when introducing new antimalarial drugs and enhancing surveillance of current treatment regimens. 

This post was originally posted on the APMEN blog.