Survey to assess public awareness of patient reporting of adverse drug reactions in Great Britain

H. Fortnum, A. J. Lee, B. Rupnik, A. Avery

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What is known and Objective: Patient reporting to the Yellow Card Scheme (YCS) for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADR) has been available in the UK since 2005. By the end of 2009, 18% of the ADRs reported were submitted by patients. Thus, some patients are aware of the scheme, but we do not know how much awareness exists in the general population and hence the true impact of patient reporting. Methods: We added eight questions to a telephone omnibus survey of the adult population of the UK, administered over two weekends in January 2009. Results and Discussion: Results are based on 2028 completed interviews. Of respondents, 8.5% (n = 172) had heard of the YCS, but only three individuals had self-reported to the scheme. People of a higher social grade and those with further education were significantly more likely to be aware of the YCS. Those who reported a preference for online reporting were more likely to be men, younger, of middle social grade with further education and in full-time employment. Those suggesting a preference for telephone reporting tended to be women, of working class and with a lower level of education, as did those who expressed a preference for postal reporting, but in addition they were more likely to be older and retired. Each of the three current methods of reporting was preferred by some respondents and could be continued. This is supported by reports that each of the three methods is currently used. What is new and Conclusion: This first survey of awareness of the YCS in the general population of the UK indicates awareness is low and could be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Patient reporting
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Public awareness


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