New film goes behind the scenes of UMC’s pandemic operations

Communications / 13 November 2020

A new short film captures UMC's work to support the pharmacovigilance community as it prepares to take on COVID-19. Filmmaker Matthew Barwick explains the thinking behind it.


It would be an understatement to say this has been a difficult year and a trying time for us all with the challenges that the pandemic has presented. Despite the challenges, the pandemic has brought UMC’s mission – to make medicines safer for patients – to the fore, highlighting just how important pharmacovigilance is to protecting patients from harm in the race for new vaccines and the repurposing of medicines to treat COVID-19.

Given that UMC has a significant role to play in monitoring the safety of these drugs and potential vaccines, we saw an opportunity to tell our story during these exceptional times. We wanted to produce a film that would not simply be an institutional document of what we are doing but would also explore the personal stories and journeys of people working at UMC. We want to show how they arrived in the pharmacovigilance field, their motivations, and how their work is contributing to our pandemic response.

Rebecca 3
Salva 1
Monica 4
Monica 6

The film Pharmacovigilance in a time of crisis follows UMC’s Rebecca Chandler, Monica Plöen, and Salvador Alvarado – and explores the work they are doing, from analysing the data as it comes in to supporting WHO and advising national centres. As is the case for so many workplaces around the world, the pandemic has disrupted UMC’s regular office life. So, in this film, we show how we have been able to continue our normal operations in these abnormal times, while also giving the viewer an insight into our people’s surroundings and lives outside of the office.

Our hope is that the film not only documents our work during the pandemic but tells UMC’s story and our vision of pharmacovigilance and commitment to patient safety.

We hope the film can be used to inspire and engage our audience within the PV community but also reach an outside audience, who are perhaps unaware of pharmacovigilance and UMC’s work.

Watch ‘Pharmacovigilance in a time of crisis’ here:

Tags: pandemic, covid-19, VigiBase, ShortFilm

Matthew Barwick
Communications officer & video producer, UMC

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