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Yellow Card ADR Awareness Week promotes importance of side effects from medicines

Did you know that if you have a problem with a medicine you are taking, you can report it through the Yellow Card scheme?

The Yellow Card Scheme collects information on suspected problems or incidents involving side effects, medical device adverse incidents, defective medicines and counterfeit of fake medicines.

The scheme is vital in helping the MHRA monitor the safety of all healthcare products in the UK to ensure that they are acceptably safe for patients.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched the third annual adverse drug reaction (ADR) awareness week campaign to promote the importance of reporting suspected side effects from medicines to the Yellow Card Scheme.

All this week 19-23 November 2018, the awareness campaign involves 32 medicines regulators worldwide, 25 member states and three non-European countries. Regulators will jointly focus on raising reporting numbers for suspected side effects in infants, children and pregnant women.

The campaign is supported by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre, a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring.

Mick Foy, Head of Pharmacovigilance Strategy for MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division, said: “The most important part of our work is making sure the medicines you and your family take are effective and acceptably safe. Our campaign will help raise awareness with parents and carers, including expectant mothers and those planning to have a baby. It’s important for them and healthcare professionals to report potential side effects and have confidence their reports are making a difference.

Last year paediatric reports represented only 10 per cent of all Yellow Card reports of suspected side effects, which are also known as adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports.

Reporting side effects can help medicine regulators such as the MHRA monitor the safe use of medicines and take action to prevent future harm. However, all reporting systems suffer from under reporting, so the campaign is vital to raise awareness and help strengthen the system.