Staying Vigilant on Product Safety
The robust safety assurance process at Colgate-Palmolive continues long after a product hits store shelves. Making sure that each product’s safety profile is regularly monitored and updated throughout its lifecycle, reflecting the latest information from around the world, is a job for Colgate-Palmolive’s Pharmacovigilance team working with other safety focused Colgate-Palmolive teams.
Put simply, “pharmacovigilance” means staying vigilant about product safety. At Colgate-Palmolive, a team of experienced health care professionals monitor products from their ideation to long after they reach the market. Made up of physicians, pharmacists and nurses, this team gathers information on adverse effects and quality complaints from other healthcare professionals, phone calls, social media, mail, clinical trials, market research and literature. After collecting and documenting that information, the team assesses and analyzes it to ensure that a product’s quality and safety is maintained throughout its lifecycle for the people who enjoy Colgate-Palmolive products around the world.
The members of the team strive to have a detailed knowledge about the ingredients, regulations, history, manufacturing and quality behind each of the Company’s products. “Our team puts together all of these pieces to get a full safety picture,” explains Dr. Leonard Humel, Director of Global Pharmacovigilance (GPV) at Colgate-Palmolive. “Together in collaboration with the Colgate-Palmolive Product Safety Group and key stakeholders through our Risk Management System, we watch a product throughout its entire life, continually monitoring and reassessing its impact based on everything we know about the product, its design and its ingredients.” This analysis at times results in a product improvement being put into market.
While Colgate-Palmolive follows all regulations for continuous product assessment in the over 180 countries where our products are sold, Humel explains, that is not enough: “Following regulations is important, but we have chosen to go further and apply the more rigorous global gold standards of drug review and assessment to non-drug products including, for example, cosmetics and home care products.”
Colgate-Palmolive’s worldwide pharmacovigilance community is comprised of health care professionals with unique skillsets who are committed to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to product safety. “For scientists working in pharmacovigilance, the safety of product users is paramount,” Humel says. “We strive to be proactive and collaborative, and we are constantly challenging each other to keep those products—and the people who use them—safe.”
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