Phone app launched for Yellow Card Scheme

Published: 14-Jul-2015

UK scheme for reporting drug safety issues moves into the digital age

Patients and healthcare professionals can now report suspected adverse effects from medicines directly to the Yellow Card Scheme using the first smartphone app for this purpose, revealed by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Yellow Card Scheme was launched half a century ago by Sir Derrick Dunlop, Chair of the Committee on the Safety of Drugs, following the thalidomide scandal in 1964, to act as an early warning system to identify potential side-effects and adverse reactions with UK medicines.

All licensed and unlicensed medicines and vaccines, whether prescribed or bought over-the-counter, are covered by the scheme, through which the MHRA collates and reviews all reports of suspected adverse drug reactions.

The Yellow Card Scheme already has a website that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report side effects.

UK Life Sciences Minister George Freeman, who launched the app this morning (14 July), said the Yellow Card Scheme has played 'a vital role in the safety of medicines for the last 50 years and the launch of this new mobile app brings it into the 21st century.

'By making the scheme accessible to researchers, healthcare professionals and millions of patients, it will not only improve the safety of reporting but ultimately [also] better protect people’s health and support research in the NHS.'

With the app users can:

  • create a ‘watch list’ of medications to receive official news and alerts on;
  • view numbers of Yellow Cards received by MHRA for medicines of interest;
  • see immediate response that shows Yellow Card has been accepted;
  • submit updates to Yellow Cards already submitted;
  • view previous Yellow Cards submitted through the app.

Mick Foy, Group Director for MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of medicines division, said: 'Moving Yellow Card onto a mobile app is a logical progression in this digital age, allowing us to build on the existing website to improve user engagement. It offers some good functionality to access further safety information, and it will continue to evolve over the course of the WEB-RADR project based on user feedback.'

The app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store and Google Play for IOS or Android device.

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