Global pharmacovigilance

UMC leads a global effort to improve the science of pharmacovigilance, and works towards the safer use of medicines for patients.

For safer patients, worldwide

All of us will take medicines at some point in our lives. Pharmacovigilance is all about the safer and more effective use of medicines for everyone, young and old. It covers everything to do with noticing, assessing, understanding, managing and preventing adverse effects of medicines for individuals and populations.

Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) is a major part of a global effort to identify when patients suffer any kind of harm from their therapy, and to reduce the risk of this happening in the future. Working on behalf of the World Health Organization, UMC provides scientific leadership and operational support to the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring. Supported by this global network, member countries submit reports of suspected adverse drug reactions to the database VigiBase. Its repository of reports surpassed 20 million reports in 2019, and is used to analyse global patterns of suspected harm caused by medicines.

WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring

WHOs global medicine monitoring programme – the WHO PIDM – aims to reduce risks to patients and to establish worldwide pharmacovigilance standards and systems. 

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Pharmacovigilance for beginners

What is pharmacovigilance and why do adverse drug reactions – so-called side effects – happen when medicines are tested before being given to patients? Read this beginners guide to medicines and patient safety.

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Together for a safer world

UMC’s documentary “Going further together” follows pharmacovigilance professionals around the world, to outline some of the challenges that the field of pharmacovigilance must address. Watch the trailer below, or the full 25-minute documentary on YouTube.

Full documentary


The origins of modern pharmacovigilance

  • 50 years of safety

    Learn about the origins and development of the science of pharmacovigilance.

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  • 40 years of UMC

    In its early days, the WHO PIDM was relocated to UMC in Sweden.

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