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Pharmacovigilance is the clinical science that encompasses the identification, understanding, and prevention of adverse effects of medications (including herbs, biologics, and vaccines). The roots for the word pharmacovigilance are pharmakon, which is Greek for drug, and vigilare, which is Latin for to keep watch. Pharmacovigilance (PV) is involved in drug safety and risk, including the communication of safety information to the patients who use the medication and are at risk for an adverse drug reaction. The aims of pharmacovigilance include improving patient care and public health in regard to safe medication use, assessing harm of medication, and educating health care professionals and the public on pharmacovigilance.

World Health Organization and Pharmacovigilance

One of the first organizations to recognize the need for a PV program was the World ...

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