Regional and international cooperation informing patient safety in Oman

Around the world / 23 October 2019

Since achieving full membership of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring (PIDM) in 1996, Oman has steadily built an active, well-respected national centre.

Oman has established itself as one of the regional leaders in pharmacovigilance. Two recent events highlight its place on the regional and international stage. From 24 to 25 April this year, the First Oman Pharmacovigilance Symposium and annual QPPV meeting brought marketing authorisation holders (MAH), Middle East regulators, and other stakeholders together in Muscat. A key objective of the symposium was to ensure an open communication channel between regulators and Qualified Persons Responsible for Pharmaco­vigilance (QPPVs) from the MAH community and, in turn, to discuss topics of interest to the pharmacovigilance community.

The symposium was held under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Mohammed bin Saif Al Hosni, Undersecretary for Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Oman, who remarked on the “importance of pharmacovigilance as seen in today’s social media platforms and its impact on online trading of medicines and health products”.

Representatives from the regulators of all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and other regional stakeholders – Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Afghanistan – attended the symposium, underscoring its significance. In addition, Deliana Aboka and Magnus Ekelo represented the UMC and Dr. Houda Sefiani attended on behalf of Centre Anti Poison et de Pharmacovigilance du Maroc, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Strength-ening Pharmacovigilance Practices, Morocco. Of note, Aboka presented an update on VigiFlow and conducted a workshop on the pharmacovigilance focal points in Oman, and Houda discussed safety signal management and causality assessment. Another highlight of the symposium was a meeting with the QPPVs from the MAH community, where the floor was opened for a frank discussion with the regulatory authority’s pharmacovigilance team.

Oman has for some time been an active participant in work led by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb on incorporating pharmacovigilance in medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and nursing education.

This collaboration led to a visit by Lareb’s Dr. Linda Härmark to Oman, facilitated by the WHO country office Oman, as a temporary adviser.

The WHO country office in Oman facilitated a visit by Lareb’s Dr. Linda Härmark, front row, second from left. Photo: Ministry of Health, Oman

Hussain Al Ramimmy
Pharmacovigilance & Drug Information, Ministry of Health, Oman

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