Self-report drug reactions

If you have an adverse reaction to a medicine, you can tell a doctor or pharmacist, and they should report this via the 'Yellow Card' scheme. However, doctors have tended only to make reports when they themselves believe that a drug is responsible for the reaction, and it is estimated that only one in every 60,000 side-effects has been reported since the scheme was introduced in 1964.

In an attempt to improve on this statistic, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority has recently launched a campaign to get more members of the public to report drug side effects directly to them. And this includes literally any side-effect experienced by a patient, even if it has already been mentioned by a doctor, or on the medicine's packaging, as likely to occur.

Patients can make a report online, or by Googling 'yellow card scheme uk', and clicking on the yellow card symbol. If you do not have access to a computer you can call 0800 731 6789 or write to Pharmaco-vigilance Group, MHRA, Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5NQ

First published in April 2008


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