Role of Pharmacy & Therapeutic Committee in Pharmacovigilance

R.K. Rishi

Introduction: Current trends in drug safety suggest that all drugs, whether they are new or old, need constant surveillance. Pharmacovigilance is an active process of spontaneous adverse drug reactions (ADR) monitoring which aims to ensure that medicines are used as safely as possible. The purpose of pharmacovigilance is to prevent patients suffering from harmful effects of drugs. A large number of hospital patients receive drugs as a part of their treatment. Keeping the efficacy of these drugs apart, they are also associated with incidences of ADRs. It is necessary to capture those ADRs and analyze the risk and benefit ratio of a particular drug. It is easier to keep surveillance on the use of drugs in the hospital setting because of the presence of Pharmacy & Therapeutic Committee. By constant pharmacovigilance on all the drugs used in the hospital, it is possible to identify those drugs which are causing more side effects and their therapeutic usefulness is similar to or lesser than other alternatives.
What is Pharmacy & Therapeutic Committee?
The Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee (PTC) is an advisory group that considers essentially all the matters related to the use of drugs in a hospital including evaluation of drugs & dosage forms and safe use of investigational drugs. It is responsible for framing policies and procedures for selection, procurement, dispensing, labeling, availability, administration, and control of drugs throughout the hospital. This committee is composed of physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals selected with the guidance of the medical staff. It is a policy recommending body to the medical staff and the administration of the hospital on matters related to the therapeutic use of drugs. It encourages rational use of drug in the hospital and also monitors issues relating to drug safety. One of the most important functions of PTC is to prepare and update hospital formulary, which provides information on various drugs to be used in the hospital.

Role of PTC in Pharmacovigilance
PTC in a hospital can play a vital supervisory role in the pharmacovigilance. The therapeutic committee should be empowered with full responsibility for decisions and coordinating pharmacovigilance activities in a hospital setting. Committee can make systems so that all health care professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists), together with patients, are included in a better reporting system. Committee can make compulsory reporting for health professionals. Incentives/bonuses could be provided to encourage health professionals to fulfill this obligation of continuous reporting. Committee can devise a mechanism to stimulate and to allow patients to notify ADRs with the support of health professionals directly to the therapeutic committee rather than to the pharmaceutical industry.


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