The fourth #MedSafetyWeek runs from November 25 to 29, 2019. Competent authorities from all over the worlds are participating in a social media campaign to draw attention to the importance of reporting side effects of medicines. This year, the campaign focuses on possible interactions when various medicines are used at the same time.
Using various medicines at the same time increases the chance of side effects and interactions. There are many interactions known between various medicines, products, herbs or even foods. Above all people who have to systematically take multiple medicines, such as chronic patients or the elderly must stay alert, just like their doctors, pharmacists, dentists or other healthcare professionals.
Report side effects and interactions
Medecines on the Belgian market are of good quality, safe and effective. However, some patients experience side effects. Interactions between different medicines can cause side effects. The known side effects and interactions are listed in the product information leaflet. Some side effects are only discovered after the medicine is already on the market.
All European drug authorities keep finding that side effects are under-reported, however. More reports of suspected side effects ensure that a problem will be more rapidly detected and can one can intervene more rapidly. Therefore, this campaign is urging everyone to report side effects.
Patients can report side effects at www.eenbijwerkingmelden.be (only available in Dutch and French).
Health care providers can report side effects via www.gelefiche.be (only available in Dutch and French). This website will soon be replaced by a new application.
This year, the campaign has grown into a joint initiative of 57 drug authorities from all over the world. The FAMHP has been taking part since the inception of this initiative. The Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) is coordinating the campaign and the initiative is also supported by agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA) and the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA).
Global campaign #MedSafetyWeek 2019