Nine out of ten GP practices in the UK can now digitally report adverse drug reactions direct to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, after EMIS Web joined other GP IT providers in offering the service.
The ‘yellow card’ reporting system was rolled out in January to approximately 4,000 GP practices in England that use EMIS Web.
The system is already in place with other primary care IT suppliers, such as SystmOne and Vision. The incorporation of yellow card reporting within EMIS Web means that 93% of GP practices in the UK are now part of the integrated system.
Yellow card reporting alerts the MHRA to any previously unknown adverse drug reactions, as well as new information on existing reactions.
The system allows for patient details to be easily transferred into the report – a copy of which is automatically saved to the patients’ records.
The MHRA’s head of pharmacovigilance strategy, Mick Foy, said: ‘This is an important milestone for the yellow card scheme.
‘All yellow card reports can be a source of potential new safety information. Expanding the availability of easy-to-use routes of reporting is invaluable towards increased reporting and protecting patient safety.’
Dr Jez McCole, a GP at Sheffield Gleadless Medical Centre, welcomed the changes.
He said: ‘I haven’t reported a yellow card in years, and it was completely coincidental that a significant issue presented itself in consultation the day before the EMIS yellow card integration switch-on went live.
‘It was a very straightforward process and I think it will massively improve the reporting of adverse drug reactions with enough advertising.’
The MHRA continues to work with other IT suppliers and NHS Digital to extend the reporting system further, to other healthcare settings.
Last month the MHRA issued a drug safety alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for possible adverse reactions to vaping among patients with respiratory problems.
It included a list of criteria for identifying vaping-associated lung injury, after the MHRA recognised there are currently no standard diagnostic checks available for healthcare professionals to spot the adverse reaction.