Yellow Card Scheme

It is important that you report any problems that you experience with a medicine or medical device. The Yellow Card Scheme allows anyone who is taking the drug, health professionals or carers to report their concerns. 

Yellow Card Scheme covers:

  • side effects (also known as adverse drug reactions or ADRs) from prescribed medicines, including over the counter medicines and herbal preparations
  • medical device adverse incidents
  • defective medicines (those that are not of an acceptable quality)
  • counterfeit or fake medicines or medical devices
  • safety concerns for vapes and e-cigarettes or their refill containers

The Yellow Card Scheme is run by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which is part of the Department of Health. The MHRA is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. Information gathered from the Yellow Card Scheme is assessed by medicine safety experts at the MHRA. If a new side effect or problem is identified, the frequency and seriousness is assessed and the treatment or device may have to carry additional warnings or, in rare cases, be withdrawn.

Sometimes, side effects from medicines are too rare to be found in clinical trials and only become apparent when the medicine is being used by many more people. With medical devices, the Yellow Card Scheme could pick up a problem with the design, manufacture or maintenance of the device, or that the instructions are unclear leading to errors in using the equipment.

The Yellow Card website is the best way to make a report. Alternatively, you can call the Yellow Card hotline on 0800 7316789 and make your report direct to their staff. 

The Yellow Card scheme is not a source of medical advice and you should always contact your health professional team as well. You should not send personal or confidential information using the reporting form.

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