A/Prof in Public Health, Monash University, Indonesia, Chair of LoC 22nd ISoP Annual Conference Monash University, Indonesia/ISoP Indonesia Chapter
Last November, Bali became a pivotal stage for the 22nd annual meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP), an event that brought to the fore critical discussions and innovations in the field of medicine safety. The meeting drew a global audience of 315 participants from 49 different countries, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in pharmacovigilance from the Global South.
The pre-conference events alone attracted over 100 attendees, including experts from Indonesian and Australian regulatory bodies. Sessions focused on key pharmacovigilance topics: fundamental principles, the safety of herbal and traditional medicines, and the integration of pharmacovigilance into healthcare systems. The overall aim of these events was to strengthen the pharmacovigilance framework by taking the perspective of the patient into account.
The conference began with a vibrant Indonesian ceremony and an address by the Interim Head of Indonesia's National Drug and Food Agency. The first day's sessions emphasised patient safety in global pharmacovigilance and the importance of patient involvement in decisions regarding medicine safety. Patients and support groups shared their perspectives on the topic, enhancing the session's overall impact.
The parallel sessions offered in-depth explorations into various pharmacovigilance topics. These included insights from Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, discussions on ecopharmacovigilance, and considerations for older populations' medication safety. The conference also shed light on the environmental impacts of medications and the nuanced aspects of vaccine pharmacovigilance, with a specific focus on COVID-19 vaccines.
The second day focused on effective communication strategies in medication safety. A plenary session tackled the challenge of translating scientific information accurately for media consumption, emphasising the need for clear communication policies in pharmacovigilance.
Further parallel sessions delved into the safety of medicines for women and their professional development in pharmacovigilance. These discussions addressed global perspectives on access to and safety issues surrounding contraceptive medicines and devices, calling for a nuanced approach to medicine safety across different demographic groups.
The final day highlighted areas such as medical devices and the clinical aspects of pharmacovigilance. The plenary session, featuring the Bengt Erik Wiholm Lecture by Shanthi Pal from the World Health Organization, focused on the efficacy of spontaneous reporting systems in low and middle-income countries.
As always, ISoP conferences foster networking and mentorship, exemplified by a student-focused event that encouraged connections among upcoming pharmacovigilance experts, reflecting ISoP's dedication to developing new talent. It also provides a forum for ISoP members to be part of the organisation’s strategic dialogue and receive specific ISoP chapter updates. The event concluded with an announcement for next year’s annual conference in Montreal, Canada, as well as a poster prize ceremony, which honoured outstanding pharmacovigilance research underscoring the global progress in the field.