Safety of drugs in pregnancy

A broad collaboration is underway between the World Health Organization (including TDR) and external partners to assess the consequences to mothers and their newly born children of drug exposure during pregnancy. The collaboration establishes the safety of any drug exposure, such as antiretrovirals for HIV, malaria medicines, and treatment for schistosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis and other parasitic diseases. The Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium adds to the data in ongoing observational studies in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Brazil. Countries involved in the pilot phase were identified by WHO Departments (the Global Malaria Programme, HIV/AIDS and Making Pregnancy Safer.

A standard protocol for the collection of data on congenital abnormalities related to possible drug exposure in pregnancy in resource-poor settings has been piloted. The research is embedded within the health system of participating countries at sentinel sites.The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems has added Burkina Faso to the contributing countries, each of which owns its own data and contributes to a common data pool.