METHODS: This cross-sectional survey collected data from May 2014 to December 2015. Questionnaires seeking to collect information on resources, processes, roles and responsibility, and functions of PV systems were sent to relevant persons in the ASEAN countries. Functions of PV centers were measured using the minimum World Health Organization requirements for a functional national PV system. Performances of PV centers were measured by the following: (1) the indicators related to the average number of individual case safety reports (ICSR); (2) presence of signal detection activities and subsequent action; and (3) contribution to the global vigilance database.
RESULTS: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam completed the survey. PV systems in four surveyed countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) achieved all aspects of the World Health Organization minimum requirement for a functional national PV system; the remaining countries were deemed to have unclear communication strategies and/or no official advisory committee. Average numbers of recent ICSR national returns ranged from 7 to 3817 reports/year/million population; three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) demonstrated good performance in reporting system and reported signal detection activities and subsequent actions. All participating countries had submitted ICSRs to the Uppsala Monitoring Center during the survey period (2013-2015).
CONCLUSIONS: Four participating countries had functional PV systems. PV capacity, functionality, and legislative framework varied depending on local healthcare ecosystem networks. Implementing effective communication strategies and/or technical assistance from the advisory committee are needed to strengthen PV in ASEAN. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: International and Thai databases were searched from inception to February 2017. Clinical trials investigating effects of PM menopausal or postmenopausal women were included. Outcomes were self-reported menopausal symptoms, serum reproductive hormones, urino-genital tract function, and bone surrogates. Methodological quality was assessed by Cochrane risk-of-bias v2.0, and a 22-parameter quality score based on the CONSORT checklist for herbal medicines.
RESULTS: Eight studies (9 articles) used data from 309 menopausal patients. Five-studies demonstrated that PM was associated with climacteric scores reduced by ~50% compared to baseline. Other PM studies using limited numbers of placebo participants suggested improved vaginal and other urogenital tract symptoms. Bone alkaline phosphatase halved (suggesting lowered bone turnover). Variable serum reproductive hormone levels suggested menopausal status differed between studies. PM active ingredients and sources were not defined. Adverse event rates (mastodynia, vaginal spotting, dizziness) were similar in all groups (PM, conjugated equine estrogen, and placebos) but serum C-reactive protein doubled. These studies had design and reporting deficiencies, high risks of biases, and low quality scores.
CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of PM on menopausal symptoms remains inconclusive because of methodological short-comings especially placebo effects inherent in self-assessment/recall questionnaires and no PM standardization. PM efficacy and safety need a fundamental re-appraisal by: (i) cohort (retro- and prospective) studies on current users to define its traditional use for rejuvenation; (ii) tightly coupling long-term efficacy to safety of well-defined PM and multiple end-points; (iii) using study design related to current understanding of menopause progression and estrogen pharmacology (iv) robust pharmacovigilance.