Drug Safety Matters

#19 Lessons in pandemic pharmacovigilance – Elena Rocca

December 15, 2022 Uppsala Monitoring Centre
Drug Safety Matters
#19 Lessons in pandemic pharmacovigilance – Elena Rocca
Show Notes

The COVID-19 pandemic forced pharmacovigilance experts to revisit their processes to deal with unprecedented volumes of data and catch unexpected safety issues. Elena Rocca from Oslo Metropolitan University reviews the challenges of a global healthcare emergency – and what it can teach us about the science of drug safety.

Tune in to find out:

  • How to handle uncertain evidence
  • Why clinical expertise matters in the age of big data
  • Why pharmacovigilance requires interdisciplinary thinking 

Want to know more?

In the article that inspired this episode, Elena Rocca and Birgitta Grundmark describe the practical, conceptual, and ethical challenges pharmacovigilance experts were faced with during the pandemic.

See also this review by Annette Rudolph and colleagues at Uppsala Monitoring Centre on the unique challenges of a global vaccination campaign.

Elena’s reflections on big data pharmacovigilance and its ethical implications were inspired by Sabina Leonelli’s work on big data biology and mathematician Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction.

The CauseHealth Pharmacovigilance project, a collaboration between UMC and the NMBU Centre for Applied Philosophy of Science in Norway, ran between 2018 and 2021.

For more philosophical inspiration, revisit this interview with Eugene van Puijenbroek on intuition in pharmacovigilance or this Uppsala Reports Long Read on new approaches to causality.

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