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Angela van der Salm

Director Pharmacovigilance, Managing Partner, DADA Consultancy
DIA Volunteer

Read Biography


When did you realize you wanted to work in pharmacovigilance (PV)?

I did not know about PV until I started working in this area after receiving my PhD in life sciences, but when I started, I quickly got captivated and have been so ever since.

Where do you see your field going? What is your vision of the field in 2030?

Pharmacovigilance has been swaying in different directions. It has become less reactive and a lot more proactive, trying to foresee the unforeseen. We’ve also been given a huge administrative burden that now is gradually decreasing. For 2030, I still see this job as very much alive, with PV hopefully helping us bring our product to the patient, but without the negative reputation the industry has as a money maker but rather as an enabler of a healthier future.

What do you like most and least about your job?

I love the diversity my job offers, knowing the path of a case report from birth to potential product label alterations, and all the reports and decision-making in between. What I like least are the bureaucracy and the tasks that need to be completed for no other reason than to demonstrate that they were indeed completed. But, thankfully, for 99 percent of what we do, I understand and appreciate why we do it.

What advice would you give your younger self about to enter the “real world?”

Don't worry too much about what the future will bring and be prepared to grasp an opportunity if it presents itself to you.

Imagine a day without work, the internet, and any other obligations. What would you do?

I would take the family and the dog to the forest and enjoy a nice walk, followed by some good food in the forest restaurant.

How has DIA helped you?

DIA has been a great platform to get to know colleagues in the field, especially at conferences where it is possible to meet regulators and ask them specific questions. I currently also enjoy being an active contributor through the QPPV Forum.

Angela van der Salm, PhD, started her career in pharmacovigilance (PV) in January 2006. In 2008, she joined a big pharma company to gain experience in PV during the different mergers taking place at that time. In 2010, she was asked by DADA Consultancy to start up a department of PV consultants to take on global and local responsibilities from clients in need of PV support. Her personal interests lie with compliance management and auditing as well as risk management, and she is currently pursuing a MS degree in Epidemiology.

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