Being a member of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring

The combined resources of UMC, WHO, and other programme members give participants in the WHO programme access to expertise and tools to support national pharmacovigilance systems.

A doctor talks to a patient at a hospital in Peru.
A doctor talks to a patient at a hospital in Peru.

What it means to be a member

In each participating country, the Ministry of Health establishes a pharmacovigilance centre with responsibility for the safety of medicines and for contact with WHO in this specific field.

Members have access to the resources of UMC to support their work. They enjoy many benefits from being part of the global pharmacovigilance community. There are obligations, too, such as regularly making their crucial contributions of data to VigiBase, WHO’s global database of reported potential side effects of medicinal products.

Members also disseminate decisions about the causes of harm that their patients have suffered and share support, advice and experience. Some countries take part in regional consultations and training.

Resources and benefits of membership

  • Unrestricted access to VigiBase.
  • Early information about potential safety hazards shared informally amongst members or from the UMC Signal detection team.
  • VigiFlow and VigiLyze – tools for reporting, storing, structuring, searching, and analysing reports of suspected adverse reactions.
  • First call on support, training, guidelines and resources, such as courses and publications, from UMC and others.
  • Engagement in the relationships and activities of the international network.
  • A voice in the shaping of international pharmacovigilance policy.

Membership obligations

To ensure that the international data is as up-to-date as possible, member countries are asked to send reports of suspected adverse reactions to UMC at least every quarter, preferably more frequently. The reports must be submitted in E2B-compatible format, with attention to both the quality and completeness of the data. The data is stored in VigiBase, in a structured, hierarchical form to allow easy and flexible retrieval and analysis.

VigiBase is the largest and most comprehensive source of data about suspected adverse reactions to medicinal products in the world. It is maintained and developed by UMC on behalf of WHO.

Last modified on: December 8, 2021