27 episodes

Drug Safety Matters brings you the best stories from the world of pharmacovigilance. Through in-depth interviews with our guests, we cover new research and trends, and explore the most pressing issues in medicines safety today. Produced by Uppsala Monitoring Centre, the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring.

Drug Safety Matters Uppsala Monitoring Centre

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Drug Safety Matters brings you the best stories from the world of pharmacovigilance. Through in-depth interviews with our guests, we cover new research and trends, and explore the most pressing issues in medicines safety today. Produced by Uppsala Monitoring Centre, the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring.

    #15 Safety of HIV medications – Henry Zakumumpa

    #15 Safety of HIV medications – Henry Zakumumpa

    With the right care, people infected with HIV can lead long and healthy lives. But as with any life-long medical treatment, it is important to acknowledge and manage any side effects. Henry Zakumumpa from Makerere University School of Public Health tells us about the potential harms of new HIV therapies and the challenges faced by pharmacovigilance specialists in Uganda.

    Tune in to find out:
    How dolutegravir-based HIV therapies compare to earlier regimensHow pharmacovigilance data can help shape HIV treatment guidelines Why we should empower patients to share concerns about their healthcare
    Want to know more?

    Hyperglycemia, insomnia and reduced libido were the most common side effects observed by Ugandan clinicians in patients taking dolutegravir.

    Nurses are the backbone of HIV disease management in Uganda and could play an important role in pharmacovigilance activities as well.

    Henry Zakumumpa’s research was supported by Uppsala Monitoring Centre in collaboration with CARTA, the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa, which is working to build up research capacity in public health.

    The World Health Organization’s resources on HIV/AIDS include easily digestible information for patients, epidemiological data on disease spread, and current guidelines for prevention and treatment.
    For more on African and patient-centred pharmacovigilance, check out these episodes from the Drug Safety Matters archive:
    Advancing pharmacovigilance in AfricaWhy we should listen to patients
    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!

    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to advance medicines safety.

    • 33 min
    #14 Advancing pharmacovigilance in Africa – Eleni Aklillu & Abbie Barry

    #14 Advancing pharmacovigilance in Africa – Eleni Aklillu & Abbie Barry

    Access to medical products has increased considerably in Africa in recent years, but safety monitoring systems haven’t exactly kept pace and many African countries still struggle to address safety issues. We sat down with Eleni Aklillu and Abbie Barry of the PROFORMA project to learn about their efforts to strengthen pharmacovigilance capacity in East Africa – especially within public health programmes.

    Tune in to find out:
    How comorbidities and genetic variation affect drug safety monitoringWhy pharmacovigilance centres should strengthen their ties with academiaHow to apply the PROFORMA model elsewhere 
    Want to know more?
    Low- and middle-income countries like the PROFORMA target nations face unique challenges in establishing robust pharmacovigilance systems, as described in this comprehensive review.PROFORMA’s baseline assessment of national pharmacovigilance systems in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania identified gaps and laid the groundwork for targeted interventions.Their subsequent assessment of pharmacovigilance capacity within the neglected tropical diseases programmes highlighted the urgent need for collaboration between those programmes and the national pharmacovigilance centres.You can read about PROFORMA’s accomplishments in more detail on Uppsala Reports and on the PROFORMA website, which also lists the consortium’s publications and upcoming events.For more on the influence of genetic factors on drug response, revisit this interview with UMC’s pharmacogenetics specialist Qun-Ying Yue or this Uppsala Reports Long Read on pharmacogenomics research in Africa.

    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!

    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to advance medicines safety.

    • 37 min
    #13 How to talk about risks – Alexandra Freeman

    #13 How to talk about risks – Alexandra Freeman

    People’s perception of risk can vary greatly from person to person, making it challenging for healthcare professionals to communicate benefits and harms of medicines in a balanced fashion. Alexandra Freeman from the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication discusses how to give patients the information they need to decide what's best for them.

    Tune in to find out:
    Why people perceive risks so differentlyWhy medical communicators should strive to inform rather than persuadeHow to communicate in a trustworthy fashion
    Want to know more?
    There is no right way to communicate evidence to patients, but there are a few things you can do to avoid getting it wrong.Conventional communication techniques are good for persuading people – but when the aim is to inform, the principles of evidence communication should be applied instead.Graphics can help people translate abstract numbers into contextualised risks they can relate to, like these visuals that illustrate the risk of blood clots with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.These evidence-based guidelines can help professional communicators illustrate the personalised risk of dying from COVID-19.The Winton Centre offers plenty of resources on risk and evidence communication, including free e-learning courses for healthcare professionals, the Risky Talk podcast with statistician David Spiegelhalter, and the RealRisk tool to help healthcare professionals and communicators extract the right statistics from academic papers.For more on communicating benefits and harms in pharmacovigilance, revisit this Drug Safety Matters episode on vaccine safety communication.
    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!

    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to advance medicines safety.

    • 38 min
    Uppsala Reports Long Reads – Safety issues faced by refugee communities

    Uppsala Reports Long Reads – Safety issues faced by refugee communities

    The loss of vital health records is a universal problem for refugees. When their medical information goes missing, patients are less likely to receive the care they need and more likely to be prescribed the wrong treatments. Thankfully, the International Society of Pharmacovigilance Egypt Chapter and the Palestine Red Crescent Society are taking on this problem, to reduce medication errors and improve reporting practices.

    This episode is part of the Uppsala Reports Long Reads series – the most topical stories from UMC’s pharmacovigilance magazine, brought to you in audio format. Find the original article here.

    After the read, we speak to Mohamed Elhawary and Hadir Rostom, who co-authored the article, to learn more about their work and the overall challenge of ensuring medicines safety in vulnerable communities.

    Tune in to find out:
    what the most frequent causes of medication errors in refugee communities arehow electronic health records can help prevent harm to patients why safety monitoring is crucial when there is a shortage of medicines
    Want to know more?

    The International Society of Pharmacovigilance runs a Special Interest Group on medication errors to promote the implementation of best safety practices around the world. They also organise a range of networking and training activities for pharmacovigilance professionals on different aspects of medicines safety.

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has practical advice for healthcare workers to promote treatment adherence in refugee settings.

    Finally, don’t forget to ­subscribe to the monthly Uppsala Reports newsletter for free regular updates from the world of pharmacovigilance.

    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!

    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to advance medicines safety.

    • 25 min
    #12 Improving signal detection with vigiGroup – Jim Barrett & Joe Mitchell

    #12 Improving signal detection with vigiGroup – Jim Barrett & Joe Mitchell

    Statistical tools can not only cut through the noise in large pharmacovigilance databases. They can also help identify more clinically meaningful patterns in the data. Uppsala Monitoring Centre’s Jim Barrett and Joe Mitchell explain how vigiGroup, a novel clustering algorithm, can bring value to signal detection.

    Tune in to find out:
    What the limits of traditional disproportionality analysis areHow clustering algorithms can improve current signal detection practicesHow vigiGroup has helped monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines so far
    Want to know more?
    By applying vigiGroup to COVID-19 vaccine reports in VigiBase, our Research team was able to identify a number of potential safety signals. Find out more in this poster or in this presentation. Details on how the vigiGroup method was developed and tested can be found in the original publication in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.Appendicitis was one of the possible safety signals for the COVID-19 vaccines identified with vigiGroup.For more on signal detection at Uppsala Monitoring Centre, visit the Signal Work section on our website or listen to this interview with Helena Sköld and Annette Rudolph on vaccine pharmacovigilance.
    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!

    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to make medicines safer for patients.

    • 23 min
    #11 Talking about vaccine safety – Anthony Cox & Daniel Salmon

    #11 Talking about vaccine safety – Anthony Cox & Daniel Salmon

    With vaccine hesitancy on the rise and misinformation spreading like wildfire on social media, drug safety specialists may have a hard time knowing how to talk about side effects without affecting people’s trust in vaccinations. Anthony Cox from the University of Birmingham and Daniel Salmon from the Institute for Vaccine Safety share their best advice for balanced and responsible vaccine safety communication.

    Tune in to find out:
    Why we can’t allow bad actors to damage the drive for openness in research and dataWhy we should be open about uncertainty and always frame risks in the context of benefitsHow to prevent public health advocacy from biasing the science of vaccine safety
    Want to know more?

    The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook is a practical guide for anyone who wishes to improve their vaccine communication and challenge misinformation.

    The CIOMS Guide to Vaccine Safety Communication helps medicine regulators communicate the uncertainties, risks and safety of vaccines.
    The World Health Organization provides resources on vaccine communication and a series of illustrated articles on vaccine development and distribution.
    In his Is it Safe? newsletter, Anthony Cox discusses the science, practice, and practicalities of medicine safety – including the latest developments with COVID-19 vaccines.
    For more on vaccines, check out these episodes from the Drug Safety Matters archive:
    Convincing the vaccine hesitantKeeping vaccines safeSubstandard and falsified COVID-19 vaccines in the AmericasVaccination errors risk harm and damage trust
    Finally, we featured these interviews with Anthony Cox and Daniel Salmon as an article in Uppsala Reports, too.

    Join the conversation on social media
    Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and share your thoughts about the show with the hashtag #DrugSafetyMatters.

    Got a story to share?
    We’re always looking for new content and interesting people to interview. If you have a great idea for a show, get in touch!
    About UMC
    Read more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to make medicines safer for patients.

    • 28 min

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