Play your part in medicines safety. Whether you’re a patient, pharmacist, doctor or nurse, you can help make medicines safer by reporting side effects to the HPRA

News Category: Regulatory news

Date: 06/11/2023

Through the #MedSafetyWeek campaign, more than 80 countries will work together to improve the safety of medicines globally

From 6 to 12 November, the HPRA will take part in the global #MedSafetyWeek campaign, a collaboration involving more than 80 medicines regulatory agencies and several non-governmental organisations, to raise awareness about the importance of reporting side effects of medicines. With the theme ‘Who can report?’, this year’s campaign will focus on the key role of every patient, pharmacist, doctor and nurse who reports a side effect and contributes to using medicines safely.

All medicines agencies operate systems to detect and analyse side effects of medicines. The purpose of safety monitoring is to gain more information about known side effects and find out about new ones. Constantly collecting and monitoring information from the reports received helps identify risks associated with medicines so that, when necessary, regulators can take action to minimise harm.

The HPRA wishes to highlight the importance of reporting side effects through our national reporting system. All reports made to us will be thoroughly assessed and examined to determine the right steps to be taken to maximise patient safety. In the last five years, the HPRA has received and processed over 24,000 reports of suspected side effects directly from patients, carers, and health professionals.

Sinead Curran, Director of Human Products Monitoring at the HPRA, says:

“Every report is important in building knowledge and understanding of the benefits and risks of medicines in clinical use and allows action to be taken to minimise risks and to optimise use for patients.

“Reporting suspected side effects helps to make medicines safer for patients all around the world. In some cases, it can result in better prescribing and dispensing advice to help support better patient outcomes.

“If you, or a patient in your care, experience a side effect with a medicine, we encourage you to make a report to us.”

Reports about side effects can be submitted easily through a number of ways:

  • Completing the HPRA’s online reporting forms
  • Emailing a completed form
  • Printing and posting a completed form
  • Phoning us on (01) 676 4971

Notes to Editor

  1. #MedSafetyWeek is an international campaign led by Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC), the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring. The campaign is supported by WHO and by members of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). For more information and free social media assets, visit the campaign website.
  2. Patients are advised to contact a healthcare professional if they are worried about their health.

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