Drug safety, also known as pharmacovigilance, is an extremely important function within clinical trial settings and for pharmaceutical companies discovering, creating and testing new drugs. Drug safety associates identify, report and following up on adverse effects of drugs and ensure that products which are released are safe for the public.
Drug safety associates (DSA) complete many important tasks over the course of a day.
A drug safety associate may begin the day by embarking on the important function of reviewing and officially processing any adverse events for already marketed drugs as well as pharmaceuticals still in the testing stage. Adverse event reporting or case entry provides critical information that often begins the modification of use of a product or the potential of eliminating its use altogether in extreme cases.
These regular pharmacovigilance development processes are overseen by the drug safety associate, to ensure compliance and that any (including federally mandated) safety rules are adhered to and completed.
Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosts a database of adverse event reports, medication error reports and product quality complaints resulting in adverse events. The database, called the Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), enables drug safety associates (as well as the public) to report their experiences of adverse events.
Drug safety associates also follow up on important case reports, and serve as a link between the company for which they work and patients or healthcare experts to provide valid information on product safety. This role as a moderator of information between the company and patients provides valuable insight into what is happening on the ground. Drug safety associates, for instance, can fact find report on and forward information about the typical experience of a particular drug in the general population.
There are also several administrative functions that are important to overall pharmacovigilance, including attending meetings related to product safety to provide experience, knowledge and input, conducting quality checks on reports written by other drug safety officers, and sending these drug-related case reports to other branch offices as and when they are needed.
Are you considering a career as a drug safety associate? Sollers College can help you take the first step to a rewarding career in drug safety and pharmacovigilance. Contact us to find out what it takes to begin your journey toward one of the most important careers in the healthcare field.