Evaluation of Pharmacovigilance System in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 National Institute for Medical Research Development, Tehran, Iran

3 Department for Assessment and Control of Prescribing and Use of Medicines and Health Products, Food and Drug Administration, Tehran, Iran

4 International Society of Pharmacovigilance, London, UK

5 Pharmacovigilance Consulting, Uppsala, Sweden

6 Deceased August 14, 2020


Evaluating a pharmacovigilance system helps identify its deficiencies and could facilitate measures to remedy and improve the quantity and quality of adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports and other opportunities for pharmacovigilance systems strengthening. This study aimed to evaluate the status of pharmacovigilance in Iran using the World Health Organization (WHO) pharmacovigilance indicators with the prospect of identifying the gaps and areas for improvement.
This study was conducted in 2 parts. The first part included a secondary analysis of the national data obtained from the Iranian National Pharmacovigilance Center (PVC) using a structured data collection form based on WHO core pharmacovigilance indicators. In the second part, a 3-month prospective study was carried out to investigate 2 outcome indicators, ie, length of stay and costs of medicine-related hospitalization in all patients of 2 main referral hospitals in the southeast and north of Iran.
Iran has a PVC with national policy, trained staff, and a statutory budget. In 2017, the number of ADR reports was 15.0 per 100 000 population, and 262 signals were detected during the preceding 5 years. The average length of stay and costs of medicine-related hospitalization were 5 days and US$817.2 in Afzalipour hospital and 6.6 days and US$306.7 in Razi hospital, respectively. The status of pharmacovigilance in the Iranian public health programs (PHPs) is unknown, and most of the indicators could not be assessed.
A robust pharmacovigilance system is a pivotal part of the overall medicines regulatory system. The Iranian pharmacovigilance system has relatively the proper structural condition. Though the underreporting of ADRs, especially medicine-related deaths, is an important issue, and some indicators’ status was unclear. The Iranian pharmacovigilance program requires a higher prioritization, particularly in the PHPs, a greater allocation of resources, and cross-sectoral cooperation to bolster and achieve the pharmacovigilance objectives.


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Volume 11, Issue 7
July 2022
Pages 990-1000
  • Receive Date: 06 June 2020
  • Revise Date: 26 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 28 November 2020
  • First Publish Date: 14 December 2020