AGES started a social media campaign on behalf of the Federal Office for Safety in Healthcare between 7th to 11th November, 2016 as part of an EU-Wide Awareness Week. The mission was to increase the willingness to report the side effects of medicines.
New Patient Role: from reactive to proactive
Medicines can have potential side effects, in addition to their positive effects. While these medicinal products are safe and effective for the majority of patients, side effects can occur in individual cases. Thus, it is very important that side effects are reported and assessed. As a result, potential new risks can be communicated more rapidly and be understood better by both patients and doctors.
The AGES Medicines and Medical Devices business segment and the Austrian Federal Office for Safety in Healthcare depend on patients or their relatives, doctors and pharmacists reporting side effects reliably. In doing so, the benefit-risk ratio of the given product can be assessed continually and comprehensively, thus, ensuring that all medicinal products available are safe.
European-Wide Social Media Campaign
At present, side effects are being reported far too infrequently to the authorities in Europe. The objective of this campaign is to create awareness and increase the number of notifications considerably in the future.
The focal point of the campaign is an animation telling the story of a patient who notices a side effect. This is followed by showing him, but also his doctor or pharmacist, reporting the side effect to the authorities and how this improves medicine safety for other patients.
The campaign is part of the joint action project “Strengthening Collaboration for Operating Pharmacovigilance in Europe” (SCOPE) initiated by the European Commission. The project brings the importance of national reporting systems for potential side effects of pharmaceutical products more into the public arena.
Where can I report side effects?
In Austria, side effects can be reported directly to the local medicines agency by patients and their relatives, physicians, as well as pharmacists: Report side effects.
A side-effect reporting system, such as the one established by the AGES Medicines & Medical Devices business segment and the medicines agency, the Federal Office for Safety in Healthcare, makes it possible to detect unknown side effects of medicines early and rapidly.
Reporting of side effects - YouTube / Facebook / Twitter