Pharmacovigilance Officer

The pharmacovigilance officer (PVO) plays a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry and one that is increasingly sought-after. It is worth noting that most of the world’s top drug developers have large-scale operations here in Ireland.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Quality assurance officer
  • Drug safety officer
  • Pharmaceutical or medical advisor


The pharmacovigilance officer is responsible for the monitoring and reporting of the effectiveness and any adverse effects or side effects of pharmaceutical products on the market in the general population and in hospitals and research trials. They must liaise closely with medical and drug company representatives, patients, doctors and other healthcare professionals to record the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments. The data is meticulously recorded, analysed and processed because the informed opinions of pharmacovigilance officers will help the company maximise product safety and performance and cut down on adverse effects.

What the job involves

  • Conduct in-depth interviews with patients
  • Develop thorough knowledge of products
  • Conduct safety update reports on drugs and other treatments
  • Write and review serious adverse effects reports and forms for the pharmacovigilance departments of pharmaceutical firms
  • Signal of early warning signs of adverse effects of drugs
  • Risk minimisation
  • Safety audits
  • Work on clinical trials of new drugs

How you career can develop

There is currently a shortage of suitably qualified pharmacovigilance officers in Ireland and they are in big demand by pharma companies. Many companies hire graduates as drug safety associates and promotion to pharmacovigilance officer can be rapid. With experience and postgraduate qualifications, associates and PVOs can rise to managerial and project lead roles.

Why pharmacovigilance matters

Pharmacovigilance officer’s represents a key role in the development and testing of new medications. They also act as a watchdog for the public to highlight any problems within the industry.


  • Ability to keep meticulous records
  • Passion for detail
  • Meticulous approach to work
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively with a wide range of people
  • A systematic approach to tasks
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Good interpretative skills
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Good at maths

Typical employers

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical device companies
  • Biotech companies
  • Regulatory authorities

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting €28,000 to €55,000 for drug safety associates
  • Senior PVO/Manager €50,000 to €100,000

Typical qualifications

Life science degree or a qualified health professional with a degree as pharmacy technician, pharmacist or nurse.