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Pharmacovigilance is the process of monitoring the use of medicines in practice to identify previously unrecognised adverse events or changes in the patterns of known adverse events. The identification of reporting trends and changes in incidence rates of adverse events are useful indicators of issues which need to be investigated, but it is the clinical detail in reports and the patterns of events that are the most informative aspects of pharmacovigilance.

The purpose of pharmacovigilance is to protect animal health and to ensure that the balance of benefits and risks of veterinary medicines remains favourable. For a veterinary medicine to be considered safe, its expected benefits should be significantly greater than any associated risks of harmful events. All medicines have the potential to cause adverse events but adverse events to most veterinary medicines are rare.

Current problems in pharmacovigilance are identified on this website because they have been associated with increased or novel reporting. It is hoped that by identifying potential emerging problems veterinary surgeons will monitor the use of all relevant products carefully and report any Suspected Adverse Events promptly.

Last Updated: 21 January 2011

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