Today marks the start of the 8th annual MedSafetyWeek launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
This year’s theme will be who can report? Encouraging patients, carers, and healthcare professionals to use the MHRA yellow card reporting scheme to report any suspicions of side effects and other issues from medical products.
The yellow card system will allow anyone to report any suspected issue of a medical device or medicine through the yellow card app, online or through clinical systems. The aim of this scheme is to get a greater understanding of new and existing side effects while ensuring safety of the patients.
Medical products that fall under the yellow card scheme include medicines, vaccines, blood factors and immunoglobulin products, medical devices, e-cigarettes and complementary therapies like homeopathies.
Dr Alison Cave, MHRA Chief Safety Officer, said: “Every report made to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme counts. Yellow Card reports are vital in building more knowledge and understanding about the potential risks of medicines and medical devices in clinical use and allows action to be taken to minimise harm to patients. Reporting helps to make medicines and medical devices safer for all patients. In doing so, you are helping those who are most vulnerable and at risk of potential harm.”
This year’s campaign will see collaborations from 100 organisations across 88 countries who use a similar system to MHRA’s yellow card scheme.
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The scheme was led international by Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) which is part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring. The scheme will also receive additional support from the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA)
Dr cave added: “If you or someone in your care experiences a suspected side effect or adverse incident relating to a medicine or medical device, it is essential that you report it to us promptly. The faster you report, the quicker we can take action to prevent others from experiencing serious and occasionally life-threatening issues.”