The Eu2P project was set up to respond to the growing need for well-trained professionals, specialists and non-specialists, in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology. Pharmacovigilance involves collecting and analysing information from patients and health care providers on potential adverse effect of medications that are already on the market. In pharmacoepidemiology, scientists study, predict and compare the risks and benefits of commercial or experimental medicines in populations.
By bringing together 7 academic, 2 regulatory and 15 industry partners, the Eu2P project developed the first pan-European, internationally recognised programmes in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology. Through the Eu2P on-line platform, which can be accessed anytime and anywhere, it offers courses which lead to a joint master’s degree, a PhD degree, 25 joint academic certificates and over 50 short courses. Specialisations include topics such benefit assessment of medicines, medicines risk identification and quantification, and medicines risk communication. The programmes target specialists such as pharmacists, physicians, scientists and experienced professionals, but also non specialists such as journalists, lay people, and patients. More than 2 500 course registrations have already been recorded for its short courses and almost 500 people have attended Eu2P’s postgraduate programmes. About 15 % of students so far came from lower income countries (e.g. from Africa and Asia). For them, a limited number of partial grants are available.
The emphasis is put on ‘hands-on training’ to maximise post-training employment opportunities. The courses are delivered in English using a unique and innovative modular approach which integrates multimedia lessons, video conferences, online quizzes and assignments.
Benefits for academia and industry
Six European universities, part of Eu2P, are now offering Eu2P joint certificates and postgraduate programmes in pharmacovigilance and pharmaceopidemology. The establishment of these programmes raised their profile and recognition on an international level. The public partners in the project also benefited from the network and collaborations established during Eu2P.
Thanks to the project, industry employees can now get internationally recognised postgraduate certificate diplomas, master’s and PhD degrees, as well as academically recognised short courses which have been tailored to their needs.
After the project ended in June 2016, six of the universities which were part of the project and five private partners signed a memorandum of understanding to continue the project. The programmes and courses offered are now self-sustainable, and are funded through student fees. Courses are being continuously updated as the field evolves, and additional courses are planned.
Read the interview with project coordinators