Prescription-event monitoring (PEM) is a valuable and well-established method of hypothesis-generating pharmacovigilance. Its use since 1984 has produced a substantial database which itself forms an important research tool. PEM has found its own place in pharmacovigilance and is at its best in monitoring drugs receiving wide-spread, long-term GP use. The method lends itself to validation of individual case reports and allows the data to be explored by well-established epidemio-logical and clinical research techniques.
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