The BC-CfE Pharmacovigilance Program collects, evaluates, and analyzes reports of drug toxicity and uses this information to understand and prevent drug-related problems.
Adverse drug reactions ("side-effects") to antiretroviral medications can affect patients' health and interfere with treatment success. All drugs are tested for safety before they are approved for sale in Canada; however, the pre-marketing clinical trials cannot study enough patients to be able to detect adverse drug reactions that are rare, take a long time to develop, or mainly affect particular groups of patients (e.g. women, seniors, or specific ethnic groups). These toxicities are usually discovered after a drug is used in the general population.
Ongoing monitoring of adverse drug reactions is required to detect unexpected toxicities as soon as possible, so health care providers and patients can be warned of new safety concerns.