Causality methods in cosmetovigilance: Comparison of Colipa and PLM versus global introspection

P G M A Zweers*, N J Gilmour, P A Hepburn, R F Gerritsen, E P van Puijenbroek

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The European Cosmetics Regulation requires a post-marketing system for detection of undesirable effects on human health of cosmetic products. Colipa, the European Cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery association, provided guidelines for causality assessment of these effects. In addition another causality method originally designed for causality rating in Post Launch Monitoring (PLM) of novel foods has been employed to assess causality of cosmetic products. In this study these two causality schemes for consumer cosmetic products were validated against clinical assessment, using the method of global introspection (GI) in 100 reported cases. Causality assessments were performed by three experienced assessors in pharmacovigilance. In the event of discordance between the assessors, an adapted Delphi method was used. The overall Spearman correlation coefficient was 0.74 for comparison of Colipa versus GI, whereas this was 0.50 for PLM versus GI. According to current guidelines, the sensitivity was 0.95 for both the Colipa and PLM method, specificity was 0.84 for Colipa and 0.40 for PLM. From these results it can be concluded the performance of the Colipa causality method yielded better correlation to GI than PLM causality method. The factor identified from comparison of these two schemes as having greatest impact was the course of the reaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)409-417
    Number of pages9
    JournalRegulatory toxicology and pharmacology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug-2012


    • Consumer Product Safety
    • Cosmetics
    • Europe
    • Humans
    • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing
    • Societies

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