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Special Interest Groups - Herbal and Traditional medicines Group

Herbal and Traditional medicines Group

The ISoP Special Interest Group on Herbal and Traditional Medicines (H&TM SIG)

The International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) Special Interest Group on Herbal and Traditional Medicines (H&TM SIG) was launched at the 17th annual meeting of ISoP in Liverpool in October 2017 with Associate Professor Jo Barnes as co-ordinator.
In 2022, the group is under the leadership of Professor Souad Skalli from the Faculty of Sciences University Mohammed V in Rabat (Morocco), with a specific interest and expertise in the pharmacovigilance of herbal and traditional medicines. The deputy Lead is Dr. Florence van Hunsel from Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, and the Project Manager is Professor Jia-bo Wang, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. The members of this ISoP (H&TM) SIG share expertise and interest in these natural health products and traditional practices.

Mission of Herbal and Traditional Medicines SIG

To provide a forum for members to share experiences to suggest and discuss best practices and policy in the field of Herbal and Traditional Medicines monitoring and safety surveillance.

Objectives of Herbal and Traditional Medicines SIG

Our main objectives are aligned with and expand on WHO Herbal and Traditional Medicines as follows:

-To discuss issues in herbal and traditional medicines’ safety and pharmacovigilance and work collaboratively towards finding solutions;
-To raise awareness of issues in herbal and traditional medicines’ safety and pharmacovigilance among relevant organizations;
-To support healthcare professionals and/or organizations with scientific evaluation of herbal medicines adverse reactions;
-To promote and develop teaching and education about all aspects of phytovigilance;
-To communicate current activities and provide a forum for discussion and generation of new research and ideas leveraging social media and/or other communication platforms;
-To serve as a conduit for ISoP members wishing to initiate or be involved with collaborative research or other projects of relevance to the herbal and traditional medicines area;
-To highlight the particular specificities of these health natural products and for which the pharmacovigilance tools for conventional drugs remain unsuitable or difficult to adapt;
-To share interesting news items, research findings, regulatory actions and other information on herbal-medicines issues that have been identified worldwide;
-To conduct collaborative projects on herbal medicines and other natural health products;
-To increase the number of members of our group by making it more attractive;
-To create productive relationships with other ISoP special interest groups and chapters.

Membership of the ISoP Herbal and Traditional Medicines SIG

Any member of ISoP who has an interest in herbal and traditional medicines is very welcome to join our group. We hope the group will attract members from several different continents, and that there will be strong representation from countries in which herbal and traditional medicines are an important part of healthcare, either locally for individuals, or as part of an organized health system.

It isn’t necessary to have particular expertise or experience in herbal and traditional medicines to join, just a healthy interest in and enthusiasm for the topic. That said, we welcome members with expertise in the chemistry, clinical pharmacology, manufacture, regulation, and practice of herbal medicine, including in relation to the many different traditional medicine systems, such as Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine African Traditional Medicine and others. We also welcome members who have expertise in other areas of pharmacovigilance, including specific methods, or therapeutic areas, and who are interested in exploring their interface with herbal medicines.

If you would like to join the ISoP Herbal and Traditional Medicines Group, please contact the Herbal and Traditional Medicines SIG chair, Professor Souad Skalli, by email at:

Outputs from the SIG
Van Hunsel F, van de Koppel S, Skalli S, Kuemmerle A, Teng L, Wang J-B, Barnes J on behalf of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance Herbal and Traditional Medicines Special Interest Group. Analysis of hepatobiliary disorder reports associated with the use of herbal medicines in the global suspected ADR database Vigibase. Frontiers in Pharmacology 06 November 2019; doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01326