Overview Values Pharmacovigilance Who we are


Our mission & aim

Established in 1981, the Drug Safety Research Unit (DSRU) is a broad pharmacoepidemiological unit which monitors, studies and communicates the safety and risk-benefit balance of medicines and vaccines.

Our Mission: To protect public health by studying the use and adverse effects of medicines and vaccines in real-world clinical use, working to the highest possible scientific standards.

All of our work seeks to facilitate the health and wellbeing of patients by putting the interests of patients first and protecting people from the hazards of medicines.


Integrity, fairness, transparency and openness

  • We work with the highest possible scientific and ethical standards, and we adhere to relevant professional guidelines
  • We conduct our work with integrity, fairness, transparency and openness with all our partners
  • We value and respect diversity and all the people we work with
  • We respect the environment and promote sustainability
  • We seek to innovate the fields of pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology through collaboration, discussion and identification of the best way forward
  • We strive to inspire and support the next generation of pharmacovigilance scientists through our internationally renowned Education & Training courses


Independent Scientific Excellence

Our activities are principally concerned with pharmacovigilance, that is, the detection of side-effects associated with the use of marketed drugs. The DSRU undertakes and advises on all forms of non-interventional research studies and evaluations of the safety of medicines and provides education and training in pharmacovigilance and related subjects. We have achieved both recognition and endorsement by regulatory authorities, healthcare professionals, and pharmaceutical industry worldwide.

Who we are

An Independent Academic Unit

The DSRU is an independent academic unit and registered charity (No. 327206), as well as an Associate Department of the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth.

The DSRU is led by Director, Professor Saad Shakir, and comprises a team of epidemiologists, physicians, pharmacists and biomedical scientists, supported by expert IT and administrative staff. The work of the DSRU is overseen by a panel of Trustees.

More information

The structure of the DSRU

For more detail on the structure of the DSRU, please see our ‘Meet the Team’ page. Further information is also available on the foundation of the DSRU and on Bursledon Hall.


DSRU Education & Training

DSRU Education & Training is one of the leading providers of education in pharmacovigilance, pharmacoepidemiology and related topics in Europe.

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