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A primer of drug safety surveillance: an industry perspective. Part II: Product labeling and product knowledge.

OBJECTIVE: To place the fundamentals of clinical drug safety surveillance in a conceptual framework that will facilitate understanding and application of adverse drug event data to protect the health of the public and support a market for pharmaceutical manufacturers' products. Part II of this series discusses specific issues regarding product labeling, such as developing the labeling, changing the labeling, and the legal as well as commercial ramifications of the contents of the labeling. An adverse event report scenario is further analyzed and suggestions are offered for maintaining the product labeling as an accurate reflection of the drug safety surveillance data. This article also emphasizes the necessity of product knowledge in adverse event database management. Both scientific and proprietary knowledge are required. Acquiring product knowledge is a part of the day-to-day activities of drug safety surveillance. A knowledge of the history of the product may forestall adverse publicity, as shown in the illustration. DATA SOURCES: This review uses primary sources from the federal laws (regulations), commentaries, and summaries. Very complex topics are briefly summarized in the text. Secondary sources, ranging from newspaper articles to judicial summaries, illustrate the interpretation of adverse drug events and opportunities for drug safety surveillance intervention. STUDY SELECTION: The reference materials used were articles theoretically or practically applicable in the day-to-day practice of drug safety surveillance. DATA SYNTHESIS: The role of clinical drug safety surveillance in product monitoring and drug development is described. The process of drug safety surveillance is defined by the Food and Drug Administration regulations, product labeling, product knowledge, and database management. Database management is subdivided into the functions of receipt, retention, retrieval, and review of adverse event reports. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic interaction of the components of the process. Suggestions are offered to facilitate communication of a review of adverse event data for various audiences. CONCLUSIONS: Careful drug safety surveillance is beneficial to the health of the public and the commercial well-being of the manufacturer. Attention to the basic principles is essential and, as illustrated, may be sufficient to resolve some problems.[1]


  1. A primer of drug safety surveillance: an industry perspective. Part II: Product labeling and product knowledge. Allan, M.C. The Journal of pharmacy technology : jPT : official publication of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians. (1992) [Pubmed]
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