Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) which is the national co-ordinating centre for Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI) has been re-designated as the WHO collaborating centre to support Word Health Organisation (WHO) in areas of pharmacovigilance(PV) in public health programmes and regulatory services in low and middle income countries (LMIC) in Asia and beyond.
Through this centre, IPC will support WHO to develop relevant tools and guidelines for enhancing Pharmacovigilance (PV) practice in low and middle income countries (LMIC) in Asia.
Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities related to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects due to a medicine or vaccine.
IPC is an autonomous institution of the Union Health Ministry tasked to set standards of drugs in the country.
It was first designated on July 18, 2017 for five years and has again been designated until July 18, 2025.
It is also aimed at supporting WHO by contributing to its work to build capacity of WHO Member States to establish high quality pharmacovigilance systems for medical products including medical devices.
This will further support WHO by contributing to its work guiding countries in the integration of pharmacovigilance in public health programmes such as Tuberculosis, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vector Borne Diseases, HIV-AIDS; Immunization Programme and regulatory issues.
There are 7 WHO collaborative centre globally in pharmacovigilance and WHO collaborative centre for PV in public health and regulatory services from India will serve as the 8th centre.
Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) was the first WHO Collaborating Centre to be established for pharmacovigilance when, in 1978, the scientific and technical responsibility of the WHO programme for international drug monitoring was transferred to Sweden.
The WHO programme for international drug monitoring is a group of more than 150 countries that share the vision of safer and more effective use of medicines. UMC has been responsible for the technical and operational aspects of the programme since 1978.
The UMC is involved closely with WHO HQ in initiatives in promoting pharmacovigilance in HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis treatment programmes that major donors such as Global Fund and Gates Foundation among others are supporting in countries where only rudimentary systems for pharmacovigilance exist.
The WHO Collaborating Centre will work in the areas of pharmaceuticals (including essential drugs and medicines) and health systems research and development. Types of activities involved by the Centre would be training and education, development and application of appropriate technology providing technical advice to WHO.
IPC also regularly updates the standards of drugs commonly required for treatment of diseases prevailing in India. It publishes official documents for improving Quality of Medicines by way of adding new and updating existing monographs in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP). It further promotes rational use of generic medicines by publishing National Formulary of India. IP prescribes standards for identity, purity and strength of drugs essentially required from the health care perspective of human beings and animals. IPC also provides IP Reference Substances (IPRS) which act as a fingerprint for identification of an article under test and its purity as prescribed in IP.