The MHRA, NHS Employers and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee are encouraging community pharmacists to report any adverse drug reactions through the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme. Please read the story in the Pharmaceutical Journal below.


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Dr June Raine, the MHRA’s Director of Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines, said:


“The Yellow Card Scheme is vital as a foundation for the MHRA’s work in drug safety monitoring and community pharmacists have an important role to play.


“Since community pharmacists were given authority to report adverse drug reactions in the late 1990s, recent reporting numbers have been low and static. However, thanks for the new medicines service, more than 700 Yellow Cards were submitted in the past year by community pharmacists bringing the total number of community pharmacist reports to almost 5,700.


“The information collected from the Yellow Card Scheme has contributed to the Agency’s advice on issues this year such as levothyroxine tablets and potential lack of efficacy, and blue dyes used in lymph node imaging and the risk of serious allergic reactions.


“The more reports the MHRA receives about suspected adverse drug reactions, the sooner we can relay important safety messages to the public and health professionals – everyone benefits from better information.”


Felicity Cox, lead negotiator of the NHS Employers community pharmacy negotiating team, said:


“We’re pleased that the new medicines service has increased the number of Yellow Cards submitted by community pharmacists and enhanced their ability to improve patient safety. This is a positive signal that the new medicines service is allowing pharmacists to actively support their patients who are experiencing some problems with their new medicines and it shows us that the service is delivering its objective to support improved pharmacovigilance. We encourage community pharmacists and contractors to continue to submit Yellow Card reports where appropriate.”

Alastair Buxton, Head of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said:


“The significant increase in Yellow Card reports that has been prompted by the new medicines service is a clear demonstration of the benefits the service is providing to patients and the NHS. I hope this data inspires pharmacists providing the NMS to submit more Yellow Card reports when they uncover suspected adverse drug reactions during discussions with patients. The recently introduced medicines use review dataset also contains a prompt to report adverse drug reactions to the MHRA. Hopefully we will see additional Yellow Card reports resulting from this.”


Posted on the UK MHRA website on 7 August 2012