What does Pharmacy surveillance mean?

The Pharmacy surveillance is focused to cover the observation of all the effects of a medicine; its benefits as well as harmful consequences; it gives us the instrument to learn about the safety and reasonable use of medicines during their consumption in real conditions by the population.

It is a collective activity between the health authorities, the pharmaceutical industry and the health professionals. Each time a new medicine is commercialized, it must be evaluated, throughout the time, the relationship between benefit-risk and emphasizing risk (safety); for this reason, the pharmacy surveillance has a principal role in the strict monitoring of the medicines behavior among the population.


The Pharmacy Surveillance is defined as the “science that tries to collect, observe, investigate and evaluate the information of all the effects from medicines, biological products, medicinal plants and traditional medicines, with the purpose to identify the information, any new adverse reactions and to avoid further damages in patients”.(OMS 2002).

What is an adverse reaction?

Is any harmful and undesired effect that occurs at doses used in man for prophylaxis, diagnosis, therapy or modification of physiological function. Remember that drugs produce beneficial actions as alleviate symptoms or cure disease but can also cause undesirable symptoms or reactions.

What does an adverse reaction mean?

“Any prejudicial non expected reaction presented during the dose administered and used in humans during prophylaxis, the diagnosis, the therapeutic or the modification of a physiological function”(World Health Organization WHO-, 1972)

Always to remember that Medicine may produce benefit actions like healing symptoms or curing diseases, but, as well, may provoke other symptoms or non-desirable reactions.

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