LEARNING PHARMACOVIGILANCE OF VETERINARY MEDICINES
Veterinary pharmacovigilance concerns detection and investigation of the post-commercial effects by use of veterinary medicines, mainly those related to their safety and efficacy in animals and safety in people and environment exposed to them. Pharmacovigilance is a health activity regulated by the AEMPS (Spanish Agency of Medicines and Sanitary Products) that involves veterinarians, pharmacists, doctors and animal owners. The knowledge about pharmacovigilance procedures is a cross-competence that involves Pharmacology, Pathology, Sanitary Policy and Animal and Human Health.
At present, the students of 3rd course of Veterinary Medicine Degree (Complutense University of Madrid) are learning only the general concepts about veterinary pharmacovigilance within the different Pharmacology and pharmacology-related subjects. Nevertheless, during this undergraduate learning, the students are not putting in practice the pharmacovigilance procedures. This could be a possible cause leading to the scarcity of alerts about veterinary medicinal products submitted to AEMPS.
Since 2004 a Pharmacovigilance seminar is yearly offered to our veterinary students like a voluntary activity. Participants have learned that marketed drugs need to be monitored and evaluated about their safety and efficacy, with particular reference to adverse events in animals or humans. The students are trained in a practical way about the notification instrument, known as Tarjeta Verde (Green Card) and how must be filled out in a correct form. Therefore, most recent alerts issued to AEMPS which involves collection of information on adverse events as well as unexpected lack of efficacy or manufacturing defects was evaluated. Some students groups implemented the seminar making surveys to veterinarians and animal owners to explore the knowledge and use about the notification system.
This teaching tool is built on a collaborative learning methodology. The results derived of these seminars have been presented to successive editions at the Congress in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences for undergraduates organized by our institution. This activity helps students to improve their communication skills in scientific events; some of them have been awarded as best student communication.
This kind of educational activity enriches the education-learning process favoring the team work. In our opinion, the future veterinarians will obtain a best knowledge on pharmacovigilance encouraging them to become an active part in the system.