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Suspected Adverse Reactions
The practitioner's role in SAR reporting
  1. Declan O'Rourke

    Declan O'Rourke graduated from University College Dublin in 1979. After some time in practice in England and Canada, he joined the Milk Marketing Board as a veterinary officer. He subsequently held various technical, marketing and product development positions in the animal health industry. He currently directs Ortec Consultancy, and represents the International Federation for Animal Health Europe (IFAH-EU) in the Veterinary International Cooperation on Harmonisation (VICH) Working Group on pharmacovigilance. He holds an MBA and is a fellow of the RCVS.


SPONTANEOUS reporting of suspected adverse reactions (SARs) is an inexpensive and effective system for ensuring the continued safe and efficacious use of veterinary medicinal products following their introduction to the marketplace. This postauthorisation surveillance (pharmacovigilance) depends on the contribution and cooperation of veterinary surgeons and other health care professionals. Although SAR reporting by veterinary surgeons is voluntary in the UK, it is important that practitioners view it as a professional responsibility and recognise that the quality of data generated from spontaneous reports is determined by the quality of the information submitted. This article discusses the need for and benefits of pharmacovigilance, and highlights its importance in improving animal health and welfare, and public health.

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