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Senior Lecturer Ruth SavageMB BS MSc (U Newcastle upon Tyne)

Tel +64 3 364 3603

Ruth has been Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice since 2009. She undertakes research in adverse drug reaction monitoring (pharmacovigilance) and rational prescribing and has experience in pharmacoepidemiology studies.

Ruth is responsible for part of the undergraduate general practice teaching modules and is also involved in postgraduate teaching to general practitioners and other health professionals where she emphasises the need to recognize adverse drug reactions and strategies to avoid them or minimise the harm they may cause. The relevance of her teaching and research to clinical practice is in large part due to her extensive clinical experience primarily in rural general practice and also rheumatology.

Ruth is also Senior Medical Assessor in the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre, Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin where a high proportion of the suspected adverse reaction reports submitted by health professionals are from primary care. She is also an expert advisor to the New Zealand Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee.

As a consultant to the Uppsala Monitoring Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring, Uppsala, Sweden Ruth also undertakes research and provides training in international pharmacovigilance.

Research Interests

  • Pharmacovigilance and Rational Prescribing
  • Detection of previously unrecognized adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and interactions in national and international databases of ADR reports.
  • Assessing if the outputs from automated methods of detecting suspected adverse reactions from large databases are clinically relevant.
  • Assessment of ADR case reports to determine risk factors for individual ADRs.
  • Assessment of ADR case reports to determine if prescribing behaviour has allowed specific ADRs or interactions to occur and how this can be modified.

Summer Student Supervision


Jamie Go
Topic: Diabetes care in general practice - Access to the Retinal Screening Pathway
Supervisor(s): Dr Ruth Savage and Deborah Callahan
Sponsor: Pegasus Health (Charitable) Trust


Anna Hulme
Topic: Evaluation of a Telephone Based Brief Intervention Model for Smoking Cessation
Supervisor(s): Leigh Aston and Dr Ruth Savage
Sponsor: Pegasus Health (Charitable) Trust


Lucy Peterson
Topic: Reducing barriers to practice nurse involvement in general cervical screening and understanding effective methods of inviting and engaging priority women in cervical screening in general practice.
Supervisors Ruth Savage, Kim Burgess, Jackie Cooper
Sponsor: Partnership Health Canterbury PHO


Nicole Sycamore
Topic: Drug utilisation study of paracetamol in the community in children aged under twelve years through paracetamol questionnaires.
Supervisors: Ruth Savage, Kathryn Henshaw
Sponsor: Pegasus Health


Talia Wise
Topic: Why do General Practitioners and practice nurses differ in their behaviours and attitudes towards performing and coding of CVD risk assessment?
Supervisors: Ruth Savage, Pip Mason
Sponsor: Partnership Health Canterbury


Savage, R., Lee, J., & Tatley, M. (2023). Impact of general practice on medicine and vaccine safety in New Zealand. Australian Journal of General Practice, (Suppl. 2), (pp. 238). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Gauffin, O., Brand, J. S., Vidlin, S. H., Sartori, D., Asikainen, S., Català, M., … Savage, R., … Norén, G. N. (2023). Supporting pharmacovigilance signal validation and prioritization with analyses of routinely collected health data: Lessons learned from an EHDEN Network study. Drug Safety. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s40264-023-01353-w Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L. (2023). Empagliflozin and necrotising fasciitis of the perineum (Fournier’s gangrene): Potential risk factors in New Zealand adverse reaction reports. Proceedings of the New Zealand Primary Health Care, General Practice & Rural Health Research Symposium. (pp. 10). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Rudolph, A., & Savage, R. (2023). Vulval aphthous ulcers in adolescents following COVID-19 vaccination: Analysis of an international case series. Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology, 36, 383-392. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2023.03.006 Journal - Research Article

Savage, R. L. (2022). The value of complementary approaches to causality assessment for individual case safety reports: The example of Artemisia annua and hepatotoxicity. In J. Barnes (Ed.), Pharmacovigilance for herbal and traditional medicines. (pp. 211-220). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-07275-8 Chapter in Book - Research

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