While I have heard all my life that absence makes the (fond) heart grow fonder, I experienced it in letter and spirit since the past few weeks when many of you eagerly enquired me about this February 2019 edition of Oviya MedSafe‘s newsletter which has been overdue for quite some time. In this materialistic world where distance and time, especially in combination, have been successful in disconnecting people, I am touched to see the unique bonding Oviya MedSafe has been able to establish with you over the years which justifies the salutation (‘well-wishers’) that I have used in every letter I have written to you so far.
We all know that the term ‘pharmacovigilance’ means different things to different people. For non-industry stakeholders, it may, more often than not, denote the national pharmacovigilance programme of their country or region which is primarily meant for collecting adverse events reported by healthcare professionals and/or consumers. For members of the pharmaceutical industry, it may probably imply the pharmacovigilance requirements mandated of them by the regulatory/competent authorities in their country or region. For a vast majority of the pharmacovigilance workforce across the globe, it may almost exclusively mean the career opportunities it provides them either in pharmaceutical companies, pharmacovigilance service providing organizations, governmental agencies and international nodal bodies, among others. Last but not the least; the word means a thriving business vertical to pharmacovigilance entrepreneurs and corporate investors.
I have always likened this lack of concatenation to the old Indian parable ‘Six Blind Men and the Elephant‘ used by the 19th century Hindu Saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to describe the ill-effects of dogmatism, which was made popular in the West by the 19th-century poet John Godfrey Saxe. With due respect and sensitivity to fellow pharmacovigilance professionals (as well as the visually impaired who have been referred to in this context only for the purpose of analogy), I envision that a lot more can be achieved in pharmacovigilance if the elephant is beheld in its full form by all this stakeholders concerned. Whenever I have been on a relevant platform, I have highlighted this point and such an opportunity came up recently, thanks to a special invitation I received from the Tamil Nadu Pharmaceutical Sciences Welfare Trust (TNPSWT). I was privileged to serve as an honorary trainer for the Pharmacovigilance Training Programme that was conducted in February 2019 at Chennai, by the ‘Pharma Knowledge and Training Institute’, a finishing school functioning under the aegis of the TNPSWT. The hall was full with enthusiastic PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) students who were eager and hopeful to pursue a career in pharmacovigilance and I felt a deep sense of fulfilment by sharing my perspectives on pharmacovigilance with them. I believe I was successful in showing the full form of the elephant to them within the couple of hours I had.
On further extrapolation of this comparison, it may be appropriate to consider just the industry pharmacovigilance aspect as a smaller elephant by itself (especially in the outsourced pharmacovigilance services environment), as many pharmacovigilance professionals working in the industry have remained confined to their designated sub-verticals without exposure to the activities performed by their colleagues in other sub-verticals. At this juncture, I sense it is important for me to share with you a little more about how Oviya MedSafe has not only adopted but has rather patronized the holistic growth of this “Pharmacovigilance Pachyderm” over the past 7 years. In fact, I would say that the promotion of a ‘comprehensive portfolio of consulting and outsourced services in pharmacovigilance‘ was one of the key reasons behind Oviya MedSafe’s creation in 2012. Although it meant we were going against the conventions the industry considered to be sacrosanct, we dared to do it because we foresaw that it would be prohibitively difficult for small and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies to afford the services of the highly compartmentalized large-scale pharmacovigilance service providers who would be unable to bring down their astronomical charges thanks to the red-tapism involved. If you are keen to know more about Oviya MedSafe’s journey in this context, I invite you to go through the August 2016 (Oviya MedSafe in Outsourced Pharmacovigilance – Comprehensivising the Compartmentalised) and the January 2018 (Oviya MedSafe in Pharmacovigilance – Benefiting from an Unconventional Approach) editions of Oviya MedSafe’s newsletter.
To sum up, Oviya MedSafe has emerged triumphant in leveraging the benefits of patronizing the pharmacovigilance pachyderm and is well-positioned to endorse that owning an elephant is always one’s strength. We have been able to prove this hypothesis ‘n‘ number of times by being able to facilitate quick deployment of a dependable end-to-end pharmacovigilance system for our clients at significantly short notices, for several markets including but not limited to North America, Europe, Middle East and India. With this proven track record, we are eager to extend our services to more and more clients throughout the world, with your positive references.
Before concluding, I would like to share with you an excellent article titled ‘How New Regulations Are Changing Product Approvals in India‘ authored by Dr Ramesh Jagannathan, which I had the pleasure of editing for publication as the India regional report for the March 2019 edition of DIA’s Global Forum magazine. On the events front, I am proud to state that I will be representing India at the International Pharmacovigilance Day 2019 (Pharmacovigilance within and without borders) conference which will be held at Barcelona (Spain) on the 12th & 13th of June 2019. I shall be speaking on the title ‘Pharmacovigilance in India – A Success Story‘ in the Global Pharmacovigilance Session and also participate in the ensuing panel discussion that will have my counterparts from Latin America, North West Africa and Pakistan too. In parallel, I am in the process of preparing the agenda for the much awaited 4th annual edition of the Indian Pharmacovigilance Day conference which is to be held under my Chairmanship at Mumbai (India) on 26th July 2019. Please keep visiting the conference website for further announcements in the forthcoming weeks.
Assuring that our March 2019 newsletter will reach your inboxes at the earliest,
With thanks & regards,
Dr J Vijay Venkatraman
MBBS, F. Diab., MBA, FPIPA (UK)
Managing Director & CEO,
Oviya MedSafe Pvt Ltd,
Oviya MedSafe UK Ltd,