ISPE: 2009 Midyear Meeting
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ICPE Celebrates 25 years at Mid-Year
meeting in Stockholm, Sweden
April 26-27, 2009

The 2009 Mid-Year meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) will be held in Stockholm, Sweden 26-27 April (ISPE Board meeting on April 25, pre-symposium courses on April 26; Scientific Program Committee meeting on April 26). The year 2009 marks 25 years since Stan Edlavitch, ISPE Lifetime Emeritus, organized the first International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology (ICPE) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The 10th ICPE marked the first time the ICPE was organized jointly with EuroDURG in Stockholm in 1994 (The History of the Drug Utilization Research Group in Europe. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2006; 15: 95–98).

The 2009 ISPE Mid-Year Scientific symposium on Monday April 27 will recognize the historical development in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology with the preliminary title: From thalidomide to pharmacovigilance to pharmacoepidemiology, has drug safety and effectiveness really improved since thalidomide? The symposium will be held at the Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

The morning session will be devoted to the historical background of surveillance systems initiated after the thalidomide disaster in the early 1960s. It will focus on the state of the art for assuring pregnancy safety, including pregnancy registries, case-control surveillance studies, and registers of medical births and congenital malformations (which started in Sweden in the Mid-1960s). For the non-pregnant population, it will focus on spontaneous reporting and other systems developed post-thalidomide, including the WHO-CC in Uppsala, which gathers data on adverse drug reactions from more than 90 countries. Antibiotic resistance — a missing link in pharmacovigilance and the new European initiative in drug safety research, EMEA — and ENCePP will illustrate the state of the art of pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology.

The afternoon will be devoted to a relatively new and highly relevant area of pharmacoepidemiology, Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). The methodological challenges in CER will be critically evaluated: Will non-randomized studies on the comparative effectiveness of medications and devices ever reach the necessary level of credibility for decision makers? What are promising methodological advances that can help CER? What can ISPE contribute to CER and its development?

Confirmed speakers are: Barbro Westerholm, Professor emeritus and Member of the Swedish parliament; Allen Mitchell, Professor, Boston University, Boston, USA; Ralph Edwards, Professor, WHO, Uppsala; Otto Cars, Professor, Swedish Strategic Programme Against Antibiotic Resistance; Sebastian Schneeweiss, ISPE President Elect, Harvard, Boston, USA; Jerry Avorn, Professor, Harvard, Boston, USA; Miriam CJM Sturkenboom, ISPE President, Professor, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The Mid-Year Symposium is jointly sponsored by the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE), the Swedish Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (SLEF) and the Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology at Karolinska Institutet.

Welcome to Sweden in April!

Ulf Bergman and Björn Wettermark
ISPE and Swedish Society for Pharmacoepidemiology

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