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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) launches third annual campaign promoting medicine side effects reporting

19 November 2018

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched the third annual social media campaign to promote the importance of reporting suspected side effects from medicines to the Yellow Card Scheme.

Taking place from 19-23 November, the campaign forms part of an awareness week involving 32 medicines regulators in the EU, Latin America, Australasia and the Middle East. Regulators will jointly focus on raising reporting numbers for suspected side effects in infants and children, and during pregnancy, including when breastfeeding. Last year paediatric reports represented only 10 per cent of all Yellow Card reports of suspected side effects, also known as adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports.

While in most cases medicines are safe and effective, side effects can happen. It is important the risks associated with medicines are understood and communicated.

Potential side effects may range from a headache or stomach ache, to flu-like symptoms or just ‘feeling a bit off’. Some side effects can be more serious, and reporting these can help medicines regulators monitor the safe use of medicines on the market and take action as appropriate to prevent future harm.

Regulators such as MHRA rely on the reporting of suspected side effects to help make medicines on the market acceptably safe. Unfortunately, all reporting systems suffer from under reporting – this is why the campaign is important to both raise awareness and help strengthen the system.