It is with profound emotion that we remember Professor Giampaolo Velo, editor-in-chief of Focus Farmacovigilanza, whom died on the 17th of August, this year, after a long illness.
Born in Padua in 1943, he graduated cum laude in Medicine from the University of Bologna, aged 24. After graduating, he spent several years working in London. Back in Italy, in 1977, he took the role of Director of the Pharmacology Institute of the University of Verona.
After some initial researches in the inflammation field, since the Eighties, he focussed his studies on pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance, rapidly becoming a reference point both at national and international level. Under his direction, the Pharmacology Institute of Verona became the first Regional Centre for Pharmacovigilance in Italy and, since 1995, also the Reference Centre for education and communication in the International Programme of Drug Surveillance of the World Health Organisation.
Over the years, Professor Velo and his team devised many projects in pharmacovigilance and collaborated with the most important international research groups. The bulletin Focus Farmacovigilanza is one of these projects. Founded in 1994, when pharmacovigilance in Italy was at dawn, Focus still distinguishes itself nowadays for its independent contents. Over the years, the idea of an English version matured, alongside with the website www.pharmaco-vigilance.eu, which, besides hosting the bulletin, provides daily updates on the pharmacovigilance world. Giampaolo Velo always desired that Focus had an agile style with a journalistic and practical tone, useful for the reader, and centred on pharmacovigilance themes only. Quoting him from one of his editorial back in September 2008: “Dear readers, Focus is going to change in and out. It was born to inform and connect health professionals in the fields of drug safety, with the ambition of becoming a useful instrument for clinicians in regards to the prescriptive practice. Focus will keep its agile style and our goal remains the same: to offer the most possible practical approach over themes concerning drug safety”, a promise, we believe, kept all over these years.
His demise is a great loss for Focus, we will try and continue his work, offering you independent information based on scientific evidence and following the same principles that inspired Professor Velo.
Roberto Leone, Lara Magro, Ugo Moretti, Mauro Venegoni and Pietro Dri