DRUG side effects and medical device problems can now be reported electronically using the new Yellow Card app.
Free for smartphones and other mobile devices, it allows users to highlight safety issues with healthcare products as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest news.
The launch comes as the Yellow Card scheme celebrates its 50th anniversary.
It is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which 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 any necessary changes to the warnings given to people taking a medicine or vaccine, or to the way they are used, to minimise potential risks.
The new app is designed to work alongside the existing Yellow Card website and is the only one that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report side effects directly to the MHRA scheme.
App users can create a “watch list” of medications on which to receive official news and alerts; view numbers of Yellow Cards received by MHRA for medicines of interest; and see an immediate response showing a Yellow Card has been accepted. It also allows the submission of updates to previously submitted Yellow Cards and to see those previously submitted via the app.
The app can be downloaded from the iTunes app store and Google Play for iOS and Android devices.