Pharmacovigilance in Crisis: Drug Safety at a Crossroads

Clin Ther. 2018 May;40(5):790-797. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.02.013. Epub 2018 Mar 28.


Pharmacovigilance (PV) is under unprecedented stress from fundamental changes in a booming pharmaceutical industry, from the challenges of creating and maintaining an increasingly complex PV system in a globally diverse regulatory environment, and from unpredicted consequences of historical PV cost-reduction strategies. At the same time, talent availability lags demand, and many PV professionals may no longer be finding personal fulfillment in their careers. The situation creates risks for companies. Advantages and disadvantages of potential strategies to address this increasing problem at a corporate and industry level and in collaboration with regulatory agencies are discussed, as well as opportunities to adopt new technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine-learning to automate pharmacovigilance operations. These approaches would address burdensome and wasteful effort assuring regulatory compliance and free up resources to support the original mission of PV as an important public health activity and to reinvest in the development of new drugs.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; automation; outsourcing; pharmacovigilance.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Industry*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacovigilance*