What do UMC's 40 years add up to? Lots of commitment, lots of innovation, lots of ground-breaking science, and a world-wide collaboration network that has taken pharmacovigilance to where it is today.
A lot has happened since the 1960´s thalidomide disaster that woke up the world to the possibility of terrible side effects. Since its birth in 1978, UMC has supported the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring, which was established to collect information about adverse effects of medicines. Gathering data from as many sources as possible across the world ensured that the first signs of possible danger from medicines would not be missed.
Four decades later, with our team of over 100 dedicated and passionate staff, UMC continues to work closely with colleagues in WHO Headquarters in Geneva to support and promote patient safety through effective and global pharmacovigilance practice.
Today the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring has more than 150 national pharmacovigilance centres in its network. At the heart of each centre there is a devoted team working to prevent avoidable adverse drug reaction. Beyond the centres, there is an active community of people who care about keeping patients safe; they work at hospitals, in the pharmaceutical industry, and regulatory agencies. They work at research organizations and universities. We are all in this together.
What are your treasured memories or events of these years? Do you have an anecdote to share? Your stories will be part of a global storytelling activity during our anniversary celebration.
We have built a good foundation together. We now need to look ahead and shape together the future of pharmacovigilance. We would like to hear from you and invite you to share your thoughts and tell us: what should global pharmacovigilance look like in the next 20 years? Your ideas will be shared with a worldwide community.
To celebrate our four decades at the heart of international patient safety we’ve got some special events and activities lined up.
The anniversary celebration and conference itself is an invite-only event, to which we will welcome a limited group of people who have played a key role in our past and present. Your contributions – see above – will be part of this event.
We are also filming documentary that showcases the work of patient safety professionals in widely different settings – Cabo Verde, Croatia, Morocco, Peru, and Singapore – and highlights the challenges of achieving safer medicines. The journey of these countries illustrates monumental efforts made to solve complex situations. The film will be presented in May and shared widely through our various channels.
Additionally, we have written a comprehensive history of UMC’s work and achievements, and we’ve interviewed the personalities that have shaped these years, which will be published accompanied by a short film. The publication will be available free on our website after the anniversary conference.
Keep an eye on our blog and other channels for more news about the UMC’s 40th anniversary.