Adapting and applying common methods used in pharmacovigilance to the environment: a possible starting point for the implementation of eco-pharmacovigilance

[Speaker] Bingshu He:1
[Co-author] Jun Wang:2
1:Hubei Woman and Child Hospital, China, 2:Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, China

Due to the growing world population, the disease prevalence and the improved health-care, the production and consumption of pharmaceuticals has increased significantly. Accordingly, more and more pharmaceuticals enter into the natural environment through excretion after therapeutic use, manufacturing discharges, direct disposal of unwanted or expired drugs, etc. Up to now, the occurrence of common pharmaceuticals such as antibacterial, hormones, painkillers, analgesics, antiepileptics, antidepressants and lipid regulators in a variety of environmental matrices including surface water, groundwater,sediments, soil, even drinking water has been reported world-widely. As a kind of biologically active compounds specially designed to be effective even at very low concentration levels, pharmaceuticals in the environment could have adverse impacts to the health of human beings or other non-targeted organisms due to long-term exposures. And the methods and techniques in the environmental sciences could not remove all the residues of existibg and new pharmaceuticals, because of the chemical, structural and biological diversities of pharmaceuticals.To minimizied the pharmaceutical pollution from the perspective of drug administration, a new concept called as eco-pharmacovigilance (EPV) has been proposed as a kind of pharmacovigilance (PV) for the environment. In order to highlight the environmental aspects of the used of PV, EPV has been described as "the science and activities associated with the detection, evaluation, understanding and prevention of adverse effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment". However, as a new and comprehensive science, EPV has not sophisticated methods in practice and formalized implementation model up to now. Since EPV is a special kind of PV, it could be feasible to draw on the experience of PV as a possible and reasonable starting point for EPV to be adapted and applied to the environment. In this study, we discussed commom methods and activities used in PV including spontaneous reporting, intensive monitoring, database studies, and their potential applicability to the environment. And we concluded that these commom methods in PV could be adapted and applied to EPV. But there is still the need for the organizational, technical and financial support of the EPV system.
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81602108).

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