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MHRA campaign to revive GP, pharmacist and public reporting of side effects

Medicines watchdog to drive awareness of Yellow Card System

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has begun a public health drive to encourage GPs, pharmacists and the public to report any suspicious side effects from medicines.

The medicines watchdog campaign has been launched in partnership with a number of pharmacy organisations in order to highlight the need for the reporting of drug side effects through the Yellow Card Scheme.

The MHRA said that the Yellow Card Scheme, which was originally established in 1964, "acts as an early warning system for identifying previously unrecognised adverse drug reactions, but also provides valuable information on recognising side effects".

Figures cited by the medicines watchdog show that reports from members of the public have declined (from 3,584 in 2006 to 1,789 in 2012) recently, with GP reporting having fallen steadily over a nine-year period (from 5,578 in 2003 to 3,511 in 2012).

The aim of the new campaign is to ensure healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the public recognise the importance of reporting adverse or suspicious reactions to medication.

The campaign, which is supported by the National Pharmacy Association, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Company Chemist Association, the Association of Independent Pharmacies and Royal College of GPs, includes the distribution of Yellow Cards and supporting material to HCPs and will be rolled out this month.

A promotional video has also been developed to encourage members of the public to report drug reactions to the MHRA and will be shown in 339 Rowland pharmacies across the UK.

MHRA Yellowcard from MHRA

"It's vital that pharmacists, GPs and the public use the Yellow Card Scheme to report any suspected adverse drug reactions from their patients, in particular if it is a serious or previously unknown side-effect from a medicine or vaccine," said Dr June Raine, director for the risk management and vigilance of medicines at the MHRA.

"We realise healthcare professionals have heavy workloads and we greatly appreciate their support for the Yellow Card Scheme.

"But we need them to use the scheme more frequently and report even when they are not sure a side-effect has been caused by a medicine.

"Identifying a new risk could have a major impact on the clinical management of patients.

"Patients and the public can also give a different and extremely useful insight into suspected side-effects and we are very keen to receive Yellow Cards directly from them too.

"Our promotional video shows that Yellow Cards can be submitted easily by patients and healthcare professionals through the website at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard," she said.

5th February 2013

From: Marketing

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