Intended for healthcare professionals


UK patients’ reports of adverse reactions are more detailed than doctors’

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 19 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3160
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Patients’ reports of adverse reactions to drugs are richer in detail and better at describing the impact of suspected side effects on their daily lives than information provided by healthcare professionals, shows a UK study.

Researchers assessed the effect of inviting patients or their representatives to report to the United Kingdom’s yellow card scheme for reporting adverse reactions. Healthcare professionals have reported side effects to this voluntary scheme since 1964, but it was opened up to patients in October 2005. Yellow card reports are submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency by post or telephone or through the internet.

The study compared 26 129 yellow card reports made by patients (20% …

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