Launched Today: The Yellow Card App
A Yellow Card app (based on the UK’s Yellow Card Scheme) has been launched today for people to report problems with medicines.
Fifty years on from its inception, the Yellow Card Scheme, which emerged from the Thalidomide disaster in 1964 is now available free as a mobile app that was launched today (14 July) by Life Sciences Minister, Mr George Freeman MP.
The Yellow Card Scheme was introduced by Sir Derrick Dunlop, Chair of the Committee on the Safety of Drugs, in the wake of the Thalidomide disaster in 1964. The aim was to monitor the safety of UK medicines and act as an early warning system to identify potential side-effects and adverse reactions.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which runs the scheme, collates and reviews reports of suspected adverse drug reactions on all licensed and unlicensed medicines and vaccines.
It includes those issued on prescription as well as those bought over the counter from a pharmacist or supermarket.
Yellow Cards are used alongside other scientific safety information to help MHRA make changes, if necessary, to the warnings given to people taking a medicine or vaccine, or to the way they are used, to minimise potential risks.
The new Yellow Card app supplements an existing one-stop website and is the only app that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme to help MHRA ensure they are acceptably safe for patients.
Users of the Yellow Card App can select specific medicines or vaccines to track and receive news and alerts about them.
The app has been created in collaboration with the Innovative Medicines Initiative WEB-RADR project, a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Commission, national regulatory authorities, academia, small and medium sized enterprises and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) that aims to boost biopharmaceutical innovation.
The app allows users to:
- 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:
“The contribution of patients, careers and healthcare professionals alike in reporting suspected side effects to the Yellow Card Scheme is vital. The evidence helps MHRA detect safety issues and take the necessary action to keep the public safe.
“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.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP commented:
“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 better protect people’s health and support research in the NHS.”