Vementis Group: providing new ways to manage adverse drug reactions

The founder of the Vementis Group perceived the trend to provide pharmacovigilance services for pharmaceutical companies. Today, the company is providing them through three different projects.

Vementis Group started off with the idea to provide marketing services for pharmaceutical companies, but soon even greater potential was seen.

Realizing that more than 6000 drugs already exist and possessing both higher medical education and vast medical experience, project executive Alex Novak comprehended how critically important is to know the side effects these drugs may cause. Together with his colleagues – doctors with PhDs in radiology and in-depth knowledge of surgery and traumatology – Novak launched a project aimed at providing services for pharmaceutical companies with the final purpose of improving drug quality and safety throughout the world and in everyday life.

Today Vementis Group provides an all-in-one solution for pharmaceutical companies which operate within the sphere of post-marketing pharmacovigilance.

“Our clients are obliged to search for information about adverse events and the effectiveness of medicines and we can help them in three different ways. We provide effective tools for monitoring, collecting and analysing information with the clear goal of saving time and resources,” explains Novak. Therefore, Vementis manages three different projects: PVmonitoring.net, PVscreener.com and PVaid.org.

PVaid.org is a project which offers a whole package of pharmacovigilance services for pharmaceutical companies, including 24h lines available for reporting adverse effects.

PVscreener.com is a digital content screener for drug safety, which was launched in 2016. “We offer a digital solution for searching for adverse drug reactions online. Our clients are big pharmaceutical companies, for example Abbott, Bayer, GSK, Merck, MSD and Novartis,” notes Novak. “Actually, we reduce the amount of work for drug safety managers by creating an augmented reality tool allowing them to concentrate on intellectual work without wasting time on routine monitoring.”
“Currently, our most significant and well-known project is PVmonitoring.net – local literature screening for pharmacovigilance. We provide screening for pharmaceutical companies in different countries all over the world. In each country we cover, we provide a regional representative – a local person who speaks the local language and searches for all relevant publications to be monitored within the territory for information on adverse drug reactions.”

“Our key region has always been emerging markets, but at the moment we are developing the project and hoping to expand to Europe. Our priority is emerging markets in North America, Latin America and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. Therefore, we launched the project in Mexico this year and hope to expand to four Latin American countries,” explains Novak. “Our services are in conformity with the EMA Guideline on Good Pharmacovigilance Practices,” he stresses.

“If speaking about emerging market regions, the specific characteristic is a huge number of printed journals issued and hard copies of specialized media which are not indexed by international databases. For collecting and analysing them we use our modern in-house software. We receive a list of search strings from our clients containing names of drugs and active ingredients and analyse all publications for a certain period for relevant safety data.

PVmonitoring.net is a successful combination of good software and highly qualified staff. Our trained experts (doctors who constantly improve their professional expertise) guarantee accurate evaluation of the adverse events.

In fact, we detect an alert and notify our customers; then they can continue their work on it. Our clients have their own requirements and their reaction to our information is up to them,” says Novak.

Services generated by demand

The European Medicines Agency Guideline on Good Pharmacovigilance Practices has been available for a long time. Often, in emerging markets legislation on drug safety has not been established yet. For example, in the CIS and Latin American regions it has changed in recent years and has become stricter. According to Novak, Vementis conducted market analyses in 2013 and realised that such a service would be essential for big transnational pharmaceutical companies because they would be required to implement an appropriate system of pharmacovigilance according to legislation.

“We perceived the right trend,” says Novak.

“We have two types of competitors. When we speak of mature markets, like Europe, our competitors are major providers. Usually our competitors provide the whole package of pharmacovigilance services, including risk assessment or notifying local authorities on adverse drug reactions found in their country. If we look at emerging markets, then pharmacy companies monitor drug safety activities by themselves. There is one single person who is obliged to monitor drug safety reactions all over the region on their own. It cannot be done with good quality, not even in a single country, as the number of issues is huge. We can clearly see the need for the services we offer.”

“We concentrate on certain parts of pharmacovigilance like local literature screening and do it really well. Our clients produce mainly original drugs, so they really seek out solutions like our project, which helps them save time and human resources.

Time has proven that PVmonitoring.net project is in demand: it provides real assistance in tracking such vital information as the side effects of medicines.

“Our team already has the skills and experience to perform our core activity as best it can and to contribute to achieving the goal of better drug safety throughout the world,” points out Novak.

Vementis Group joined the Connected Health Cluster because Estonia represents a country of startups and entrepreneurs, and Vementis identifies itself with the country as it is developing and fast growing.