Patient safety

Technical activities

Drug safety

The Quality Assurance and Safety of Medicines (QSM) team in WHO handles issues pertaining to drug safety and drug utilization. The QSM team ensures reliable exchange of information on medicines, promotes pharmacovigilance activities in Member States, encourages participation in the International Drug Monitoring Programme and assists countries in developing an adequate system for obtaining drug utilization statistics.

The WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring in Uppsala, Sweden, maintains a database that currently contains more than 3 million reports of suspected adverse drug reactions. These reports are from the 72 Member States participating in the Programme. The major objective of the database is to determine any new "signals" arising.

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology in Oslo, Norway, is responsible for the maintenance of the WHO classification system: the Anatomical, Therapeutic and Chemical (ATC) and Defined Daily Dose (DDD) for classified drugs. The Advisory Committee for this Centre is the WHO International Working Group for Drug Statistics Methodology.

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