A week-long social media campaign to raise awareness about the importance of reporting suspected side effects using the Yellow Card Scheme was launched yesterday by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The campaign is focusing on how pharmacy teams and other healthcare professionals can encourage customers to report medication side effects in relation to other medication, food and herbal products.
In particular, the campaign highlights the potential risks of polypharmacy and encourages pharmacy teams to review patients taking four or more medicines daily, including prescription, over-the-counter, general sales list or traditional medicines.
According to the report, studies have shown that one third of people over 75 years old take at least six medicines a day, and over a million people take eight or more medicines daily.
Mick Foy, head of pharmacovigilance strategy at the MHRA said: “Protecting patients is our topmost priority. Patients, their carers, and healthcare professionals are asked to report suspected side effects on a Yellow Card to the MHRA online or via the app.
"Reporting helps to improve the safety of medicines for all patients and can result in better tailored prescribing or administrative advice and information about monitoring, which can help improve adherence to treatment, and ultimately improves patient safety”.