New website to report COVID-19 treatment adverse events

Image of a pharmacist holding tables to show New website to report COVID-19 treatment adverse events

A new online reporting site, dedicated to reporting any COVID-19 treatment adverse events, including suspected side effects from medicines, future vaccines and incidents involving medical equipment relating to COVID-19 treatment, has been launched.

The new and tailored Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site makes it quicker and simpler for healthcare professionals, patients and carers to report side-effects or incidents.

The site has been developed as part of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) work to protect the public through enhanced COVID-19 vigilance and in preparation for large-scale use of potential new or repurposed medicines, medical devices, diagnostic tests and future vaccines.

In MHRA’s commitment to ensuring that the medicines and medical devices that people use are safe, it will use the COVID-19 Yellow Card reports to monitor the safety of healthcare products being used in COVID-19 treatment. In doing so there will be rapid identification of new or emerging risks, which might not have been previously known about and MHRA will take appropriate regulatory action, where necessary.

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive said: “While our aim is to ensure that potentially lifesaving COVID-19 treatments and medical equipment reach patients as quickly as possible, patient safety is our highest priority.

“I encourage healthcare professionals and patients to use our new dedicated site to report problems with medical equipment, including ventilators or testing kits, as well as any suspected side effects from medicines used to combat COVID-19.”

Reporting suspected side effects or faulty medical devices helps identify issues which might not have been previously known.

Patients and healthcare professionals are reminded by MHRA that there are currently no medicines authorised to treat COVID-19. Whilst scientists and organisations work to develop a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19), several treatments authorised for other diseases including severe respiratory illnesses are being used in patients with COVID-19. This also includes medicines and medical devices used to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, provide supportive care, or to suppress virus reproduction in some cases.

We still do not know how COVID-19 interacts and behaves with medicines or medical devices used for existing conditions. By reporting through the Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site, patients and healthcare professionals can help gather valuable evidence to inform decisions on the safe and effective use of medicines and medical devices as the pandemic evolves.

If a medicine or a medical device is used in a different way or for a different purpose, or it is new, or brought to market faster to aid coronavirus treatment, MHRA says that it is especially important that it is monitored closely and any suspected incidents are quickly reported.

To make a report or find out more about the Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site please visit: coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk