Uppsala Monitoring Centre has launched the third annual social media campaign to promote the importance of reporting suspected side effects from medicines.
Taking place from 19-23 November, the campaign forms part of an awareness week involving 32 medicines regulators in the EU, Latin America, Australasia and the Middle East. Regulators will jointly focus on raising reporting numbers for suspected side effects in infants and children, and during pregnancy, including when breastfeeding.
Regulators rely on the reporting of suspected side effects – also known as adverse drug reactions – to make sure medicines on the market are acceptably safe. Unfortunately, all reporting systems suffer from under reporting – this is why the campaign is important to both raise awareness and help strengthen the system. The 2017 campaign reached 2,3 million people on social media, and resulted in an increase of 11% in reporting of adverse drug reactions.
The campaign is being taken forward through the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group for Communications Professionals and the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities. A number of other organisations – including the European Medicines Agency, the European Commission and patient organisations such as EURORDIS – have also pledged their support. This year, the United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day falls within the awareness week, and both campaigns seek to promote international togetherness and improve children's welfare.
Campaign materials include a light-hearted and amusing series of animations produced by UMC, featuring funny cartoon characters whose unfortunate misuse of medicines leads to comical calamities. The short animations have been adapted for use in the 32 countries. Each country-specific version features text in the local language, the logo of the medicine regulatory authority and a link to the national reporting system.
Connect to us!
Besides making the animations available to the countries, UMC will also run the campaign on its social media channels. Connect to us with the hashtag #MedSafetyWeek, or follow us on social media:
• Twitter: @UMCGlobalSafety
• Facebook: @UppsalaMonitoringCentre
• LinkedIn: /Uppsala-Monitoring-Centre
You can also follow any of the 32 participating medicines agencies:
Czech Republic: @SUKLcz
El Salvador: @MedicamentosSV
New Zealand: @minhealthnz
Slovak Republic: @sukl_sr
United Kingdom: @MHRAgovuk