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The Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) is an international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established jointly by WHO and UNESCO in 1949. CIOMS plays a crucial role in bioethics, health research ethics, and pharmacovigilance, facilitating dialogue and collaboration among government bodies, international organizations, and the private sector in the field of medical sciences. Its importance lies in its commitment to ensuring that medical research and healthcare practices are conducted ethically and that innovations in medicine are disseminated and utilized for the public good globally.

CIOMS has several key roles and functions that contribute to its importance in the international healthcare and research community.

Setting Guidelines for Ethical Research:CIOMS is renowned for its ethical guidelines for health-related research involving humans. These guidelines are designed to ensure that research is conducted ethically, respecting the rights, safety, and well-being of participants. They are particularly focused on research conducted in low- and middle-income countries, providing a framework that addresses ethical challenges unique to these settings.

Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety: CIOMS has been instrumental in developing guidelines for pharmacovigilance, the science related to the detection, assessment, understanding, and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem. These guidelines help regulatory affairs agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare providers minimize risks associated with drug use, ensuring patient safety.

Facilitating International Collaboration: By bringing together professionals from various sectors, including government, academia, and the pharmaceutical industry, CIOMS fosters international collaboration. This collaboration aims to address global health challenges, share knowledge, and promote the use of scientific evidence in policy-making and healthcare practices

Promoting Health Research: CIOMS advocates for the importance of health research in improving global health outcomes. It encourages ethical and scientifically sound research practices that can lead to medical advancements and better healthcare strategies, particularly in underserved populations.

Ethics in Genetics and Biotechnology: With the rapid advancements in genetics and biotechnology, CIOMS also focuses on the ethical implications of these developments. It provides guidance on how to approach genetic research and the use of biotechnology, ensuring that ethical considerations are at the forefront of scientific progress.

What is a CIOMS form?

The CIOMS form is a standardized tool used in pharmacovigilance for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and collecting essential information about the event. It includes details such as patient demographics, medical history, concomitant medications, description of the adverse event, treatment received, and outcome.

The importance of CIOMS forms in pharmacovigilance lies in their role in standardizing the collection and reporting of ADRs. They provide structured data that can be analyzed systematically to identify potential safety signals, assess the risk-benefit profile of medications, and contribute to evidence-based decision-making in drug safety. Additionally, CIOMS forms facilitate communication and information exchange among healthcare professionals, regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical companies, enhancing overall pharmacovigilance services practices and promoting patient safety.


CIOMS plays a vital role in the global health landscape by setting ethical guidelines, promoting safe medical practices, facilitating international collaboration, and advocating for research that benefits humanity. Its functions are crucial in ensuring that advancements in medical science are achieved ethically and are accessible to all, particularly in low-resource settings. Through its work, CIOMS helps to bridge gaps between different sectors in the medical community, enabling a collaborative approach to addressing some of the world’s most pressing health issues.

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