Essential medicines and health products

About Medicines Safety

Safety of medicines is a global responsibility. The WHO Medicines Safety group within Safety and Vigilance (SAV) aim to promote the safe use of medicines at country level by:

  • Developing policies, norms, standards and guidelines for pharmacovigilance, with a focus on low and middle income countries
  • Providing a platform for Member States to meet and collaborate on pharmacovigilance issues
  • Convening a global advisory committee on the safety of medicinal products for strategic and methodological developments in pharmacovigilance
  • Communicating regulatory decisions and safety signals for medicinal products at a global level
  • Promoting the integration of pharmacovigilance in public health programmes such as TB, HIV and malaria treatment programmes.
  • Supporting pharmacovigilance training courses and activities

The WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring was set up in 1968 following the thalidomide tragedy, and now plays an important role in global medicines safety monitoring.

The programme aims are to: enhance patient care and patient safety in relation to the use of medicines; and to support public health programmes by providing reliable, balanced information for the effective assessment of the risk-benefit profile of medicines.

Contact us

Essential Medicines and Health Products
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva