#19 Lessons in pandemic pharmacovigilance – Elena Rocca

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 evidenceWhy clinical expertise matters in the age of big dataWhy 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.Join the conversation on social mediaFollow us on X, LinkedIn, or Facebook 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 UMCRead more about Uppsala Monitoring Centre and how we work to advance medicines safety.

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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.