The concept of Pharmacovigilance Planning and Risk Minimization Planning (PVP/RMP), initiated by the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH), addressed an important conceptual change from monitoring the safety of individual medicine to proactively conducting risk prevention for the minimization of medication error. However, the implementation of PVP/RMP is a challenge in societies like Taiwan where irrational medication and co-medication is prevalent. It is even more difficult in Taiwan where two regulatory bodies are governing pharmaceutical affairs, namely Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) in charge of Western Medicine (WM) and the Department of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy (DCMP) in charge of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). There are thus dual-tract drug approval panels, two GMP controls and two independent adverse drug event reporting systems. This rendered irrational co-medication of WM and TCM undetectable and the standard tools for monitoring pharmacovigilance inapplicable. The bilateral regulatory system is conceptually unscientific in accordance with PVP/RMP and unethical from humanity point of view. The first part of this review delivers (1) social aspects of polypharmacy in Taiwan; (2) regulatory aspects of pharmaceutical administration; (3) risks undermined in the bilateral regulatory system and (4) pharmacoepidemiology in relation to the risk of polypharmacy. As evidence-based medicine (EBM) forms the fundamental risk-benefit assessment on medication, the second part of this review delivers (1) the scientific aspects of the beauty and the odds of biological system that governs host-xenobiotics interaction; (2) conceptual evolution from product management (pharmacovigilance) to risk management (PVP/RMP); (3) non-biased due process is essential for risk-benefit assessment on medicinal products and (4) the opinion of the authors on system building for safe medication.
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