Materials and Links
Joint Meeting: WHO/Forum for Collaborative HIV Research
Considerable progress has been made in providing global access to antiretroviral therapy, with three million people currently on antiretroviral drugs around the world. However, the effectiveness of treatment programs, particularly in low and middle income countries, risks being compromised by problems related to toxicity, intolerance and drug-drug interactions. These adverse events, be they acute or chronic, mild or severe, are relatively common phenomena affecting both individual patients and public health, but are being only intermittently identified and scarcely systematically reported in low and middle income settings. Adverse reactions related to the use of antiretroviral drugs may severely jeopardize confidence in the safety of these medicines and alter patient adherence to antiretroviral therapy, not only reducing the treatment efficacy with increased morbidity and mortality, but also reducing treatment programme effectiveness and increasing the risk for emergence of secondary drug resistance. New adverse events and toxicities are identified, as people live longer on antiretroviral thereapy. The availability of numerous new drugs and drug combinations makes it critical to monitor more systematically adverse events linked to antiretovirals.
For these reasons, there is an urgent need to strengthen the science of pharmacovigilance for antiretroviral drugs.
The primary objective of the meeting was to bring together the pharmacovigilance and HIV treatment communities to establish a common language with agreed terms to harmonize the adverse event case definitions, and hence the detection, recording, reporting and analysis of adverse event data related to the use of antiretroviral drugs.
The meeting was held on Feb 28-29 in Geneva, Switzerland
Nyasha Bakare, MD, MPH
Ben Cheng, MS