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Improved system for side-effect reporting launched by UK watchdog

10 November, 2005

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have launched a new UK-wide pilot scheme to enable people to directly report their experiences of suspected side-effects from medication.

The improved system will see patient Yellow Card Scheme reporting forms being made available in pharmacies, surgeries and other NHS outlets across the UK. Reports on suspected side-effects can also be made on the Yellow Card website at www.yellowcard.gov.uk or by freephone to the Yellow Card hotline on 0808 100 3352.

The new scheme follows a earlier pilot scheme which was restricted to certain parts of the UK.

Dr Patricia Wilkie, chairman of the Committee on Safety of Medicines working group on patient reporting, said:

"Patient reporting through the Yellow Card Scheme helps the MHRA to collect information on suspected side-effects that patients have experienced, from the patient's own perspective. The incorporation of the patient experience in the Yellow Card Scheme is essential for medicines safety monitoring, and will be important for the development of information for patients about their medicines. The launch of the UK-wide pilot is a major step forward in achieving real patient involvement."