What Students Earning a Pharmacovigilance Certificate Should Know About the Marketed Health Products Directorate

Pharmacovigilance & drug safety training

The post-release period in a drug’s development—properly known as the “postmarketing surveillance” period, is one of immense importance. Additional testing and data gathering are conducted to detail the real effects that a drug has on the wide population using the product, with the findings then used to refine messaging about potential safety issues, and potentially whether the drug can continue to be sold.

In Canada, postmarketing surveillance is managed by the Marketed Health Products Directorate (MHPD), which oversees and conducts a number of important functions required to be performed after a drug’s release.

Want to learn a bit more about the MHPD? Here’s what you need to know.

The MHPD Is Responsible for Researching & Communicating Risks of New Health Products

One of the main functions of the MHPD is to do safety monitoring of health products after they have been released for public consumption. They collect data relating to adverse reactions and other incidents relating to medicines, conduct risk/benefit assessments of health products, help produce policies and regulations around new health products, and other important work centring on public safety with health products.

Everything from prescription medications to natural health products, medical devices, and more falls under the supervision of the MHPD, making it a hugely influential and important entity within the Canadian pharmaceutical space. Professionals entering a pharmacovigilance career can expect to see any health products they help develop go through monitoring with the MHPD.

pharmacovigilance career

The MHPD is active in researching the effects that newly released drugs have on the public

In Your Pharmacovigilance Career, You Can Refer to the MHPD’s Directory of Health Safety Info

An important function provided by the MHPD is the MedEffect Canada gateway, which offers Canadians access to safety information about the health products they might be prescribed or want to buy. It’s also a portal through which consumers and professionals alike can report any adverse reactions they may have experienced when using a drug, and where they can search for advisories or recalls relating to a health product of interest.

Graduates of pharmacovigilance & drug safety training will be well-versed in the importance of safety protocols, and in the proper procedures for safety monitoring and adverse drug reaction reporting. For these responsibilities, it is likely that you will find the MHPD’s MedEffect Canada portal a useful resource in your future career.

Professionals in Pharmacovigilance Careers Will Value the MHPD’s Notices

Notices published by the MHPD offer valuable information about new guidelines implemented in specific areas of the pharmaceutical industry. For both seasoned professionals and people simply curious about health regulations in Canada, these notices provide a valuable glimpse at the latest in postmarketing surveillance news.

The most recent announcement, a 2016 notice regarding the implementation of Plain Language Labelling for drugs, is a good example of the kind of accessibility that the MHPD is meant to facilitate, and of the importance of democratizing health information for all who might be interested in accessing it. Throughout your career, you will likely see just how important the MHPD is for both the public and Canada’s pharmaceutical industry.

Do you want to contribute to greater drug safety and access to health information?

Contact AAPS to learn more about our pharmacovigilance certificate program!


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