HC Deb 12 July 1988 vol 137 c159W
55. Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he proposes to take to improve the monitoring of adverse reactions to medical drugs.

Mr. Newton

The Committee on Safety of Medicines has set in train a number of initiatives to encourage more doctors to report adverse drug reactions and to improve the quality of reporting. These include:

  • making yellow cards more widely available in prescription pads, the British National Formulary and the ABPI Data Sheet Compendium;
  • making an educational video to increase doctors' awareness of ADRs and the importance of reporting these to the CSM via the yellow card scheme. The video will be made available to the profession next month, and a copy will be placed in the Library;
  • a series of seminars on adverse reactions held in East Anglia during April to June this year in collaboration with the BMA and the ABPI;
  • publicity in the medical press for the doctor who reported the 200,000th yellow card in June 1988;
  • the "Red Alert" scheme, jointly with the drug safety research unit, to encourage GPs to report serious reactions to new drugs on yellow cards with red triangles. This began last autumn for a trial period;
  • a pilot scheme in three health regions to involve hospital pharmacists in stimulating ADR reporting by hospital doctors;
  • a pilot scheme, with the Association of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Anaesthetists, to encourage ADR reporting by anaesthetists using a newly designed form. This will start in September this year;
  • a project, in conjunction with the Institute of Dermatologists, to set up a cutaneous reactions database to encourage ADR reporting by dermatologists; plans for a number of lectures to professional bodies by CSM members to mark the 25th anniversary of the yellow card in 1989.

A new improved computer system for adverse reaction monitoring is being designed and will come into use early in 1990.