Prathap Shastri works for the ADME/DMPK group at WIL Reseach Laboratories in Ashland, Ohio. Prior to joining WIL research, he worked at Seventh Wave Laboratories
working as a principal investigator for the PDM group.
In a meeting held at the National Institute of Nutrition, the Indian Pharmacopeia Commission dedicated a website solely to creating awareness and tracking side effects of drugs. This initiative comes from the Pharmacovigilance programmed of India (PvPI) and is the first of its kind to provide information about the side effects of drugs being consumed by the population of India.
Over the past two decades, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has played a key role in working collaboratively with developing countries addressing critical issues like improving the quality of medicines and preserving global health. USP’s Promoting the Quality of Medicines program (PQM) is currently working with nine Asian countries including India, Myanmar, and Vietnam to improve the quality of medicines and control common diseases such as tuberculosis. Such global efforts have led to the identification of several malfunctioning pharmacies and the seizure of illegal/under-quality medicines, much like the goals of the new PvPI website.
Several drugs on the market are potent enough to cure or provide treatment against a disease. However, many of these drugs also possess side effects that go unnoted or unreported. Gathering such data on side effects is valuable in order to be vigilant about certain drugs. That data could help drug manufacturers reconsider the marketability of a specific drug product and ensure patient safety by making consumers aware of the risks associated with the use of these medicines. For instance, the thalidomide tragedy of 1960s, which interfered with a baby’s normal development and led to babies being born with phocomelia resulting in shortened or flipper-like limbs, was an eye opener for several global health organizations across the world to ensure drug safety before approving use in humans and continuing post-marketing surveillance. With an increasing number of biosimilar products entering the Indian market, maintenance of safety standards and monitoring therapeutic protein safety and deleterious reactions is critical and should be given utmost importance.
Only a combination of effort from organizations across the world and the consumer support can ensure global safety. The IPC website provides a toll free number as well as an online option to report adverse drug reactions.
Some other resources providing information on side effects of drugs are:
- Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs: The International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions
- Side Effect of Drugs Annual: A Worldwide Yearly Survey of New Data and Trends in Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions
What resources or tactics do you use to report and/or retrieve drug side effects?