07 August 2017

I am writing this from St Mawes in Cornwall. For those who don’t know where that is, it is on the Roseland Peninsula which is a truly beautiful part of Cornwall with wonderful views wherever you look. The weather is very “Cornish” which means a mix of real and liquid Cornish sunshine. The view in the photograph is of St Mawes Harbour.

It has been nearly a year since Wise Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management was started. It has been a very successful year with a number of different clients providing  me with a wide range of different opportunities. I have enjoyed the breadth of different projects I have worked on and have been more in demand than I had anticipated.  I have also had to learn some new skills – including solving my own IT problems!

As I reflect back on the year, it has also been a year where I have had the opportunity to re-connect with a lot of people.  I had hoped that this new venture would bring a bit more balance to my life and I think that has in large part happened as I reconnect with friends from inside and outside of the work context.

I wrote my first blog post from ICPE in Dublin and now we are looking forward to ICPE in Montreal – a time to meet old friends and make new ones! I hope I will see a number of my blog readers there.

 

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11 July 2017

It seems that all my good intentions were not realised as it is yet again 1 month since I updated my blog. The DIA conference  in Chicago (which I mentioned in my last blog) was very good and, as always, it was great to meet up with colleagues who I hadn’t seen for a while.

Whilst travelling on the plane to and from Chicago, I spent quite a bit of time knitting, which is one of the things I do to relax and is a very useful way to spend a flight. My current project (for those interested!) is a Kaffe Fasset cardigan of many colours, which is for my daughter-in-law. It is very vibrant with 15 different colours and enjoyable to knit.

Now we are well and truly into summer in the UK, and I am enjoying my garden as well as being able to spend time walking in the UK. One of the advantages of working from home is that I can give the garden more attention, in small doses! This has been better for the vegetables I think. This year for the first time I have grown potatoes – they taste so different from the shop bought ones! I’m also growing the usual suspects – tomatoes, green beans, spinach and squash. The photo at the top of this page was taken on a London LOOP walk in Bushy Park, London on a very sunny Saturday. it was easy to forget we were in London.

I will try to update this before the end of the month but things to look forward to in August include holidays with the family (Cornwall and the South Coast) and the ICPE meeting in Montreal.

 

 

11 June 2017

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would update it at least every 2 weeks. Well it is now nearly 2 months since my last entry and I am not sure where that time has gone!  It seems an age since we were in Turkey and in the meantime the UK has had some summer (hopefully not all the summer we will get) and had a General Election, on which I will say no more.

The summer weather has produced a stunning result with my white wisteria, which not only looked beautiful but also had a lovely strong perfume.

In the meantime of course the pharmacovigilance world is never quiet, and the impact of new guidances particularly from the EMA is being worked through. I am already creating RMPs in the new template, and it will be interesting to see how the new guidance works in practice – I anticipate a few teething problems…In addition of course, the shadow of Brexit is behind all of our conversations and the next few months will hopefully bring some clarity.

The season for conferences is also upon us. This week I will be in Prague on Wednesday and Thursday, speaking at the DIA benefit-Risk meeting, and then travelling to Chicago for the DIA Global meeting, so I will try to update my blog from Chicago, and maybe will see some of you there

23rd April 2017

We have just returned from an amazing 12 day hiking holiday in Turkey.

We often take hiking holidays, usually self guided, usually in Europe and usually in September. This year we needed to go in April and so were looking at somewhere where we could enjoy spring flowers and mountains that wasn’t too cold! The Lycian Way walk in Turkey by InnTravel seemed to fit the bill and off we went.

The walking was amazing; long days with such varied scenery and surrounded by history and offset by the beautiful azure blue sea. An added advantage was the enjoyment of the spring flowers on the mountainsides – wild cyclamen, poppies and many I don’t know the name of. The area we were walking in was very remote and very quiet.  However, the enjoyment wasn’t just the walking and scenery, but also the hospitality and the food. Simple fresh food set off with fresh herbs, sunshine and fresh air.

We stayed in some wonderful places – look up these 2 as good examples:

Olympos Mountain Lodge

Hoyran Wedre

As you can imagine we came back refreshed and relaxed, although I find my self looking out of my London window and wishing for the blue sea.

 

30 March

UPDATE on 4 April 2017: the long awaited update to GVP V is now available. It was released as many of us were enjoying the ISPE mid-year meeting!

New GVP V guidance

And the link for the new template.

New GVP V template

I think that amidst the sunshine, we will be spending some time digesting the changes and the impact to our processes.

As I write this the sun is shining (again!) and it really feels like Spring, a time for new beginnings…..

As a part of the pharmacovigilance community, I know that we are all awaiting the revision to GVP V which I understand from rumour is likely to be published either later this week or in April.

In only 2 days it will be the mid-year meeting for the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology in London. I will be attending and might manage to post updates from there. If the weather holds, it will be a lovely time to be visiting London.

 

01 March

I am not sure where the first 2 months of the year have gone. It seems inconceivable that we are now in March – except that when I look at my garden the daffodils are poking their heads through and the crocuses are in bloom. I personally love Spring as the days get longer and the garden comes to life again. I always look forward to the flowering of the magnolia “tulip” trees as they symbolize Spring for me.

magnolia

On a professional note I am very busy with interesting work which is satisfying. I am also looking forward to the mid-year ISPE meeting, which this year will be held in London – and that explains the banner photo for this update!

 

10 February 2017

I posted a link recently to a paper on the BBC site looking at cultural difference. I found the article fascinating and in particular how behavioural studies use generalisation from Western Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic populations (or WEIRD) to apply to other cultures. For those who would like a bit more reading on the matter try the article by Henrich et al Behav Brain Sci. 2010 Jun;33(2-3):61-83.

This article started me thinking about how we communicate benefits and risks to patients and healthcare professionals and how we might be able to do it better if we incorporated more patient perspectives which would give a variety of cultural viewpoints

The photograph is from a holiday in December – I’m trying to hold on to the memories for as long as possible!