European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 64, Issue 8, pp 743–752 | Cite as

Pharmacovigilance: methods, recent developments and future perspectives

Review Article



Pharmacovigilance, defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem’ plays a key role in ensuring that patients receive safe drugs. Our knowledge of a drug’s adverse reactions can be increased by various means, including spontaneous reporting, intensive monitoring and database studies. New processes, both at a regulatory and a scientific level, are being developed with the aim of strengthening pharmacovigilance. On a regulatory level, these include conditional approval and risk management plans; on a scientific level, transparency and increased patient involvement are two important elements.


To review and discuss various aspects of pharmacovigilance, including new methodolgical developments.


Drug regulation Drug safety Intensive monitoring Pharmacovigilance Spontaneous reporting Transparency 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb’s-HertogenboschThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy: Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical CareUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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