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Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris)

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Snippet Contents:

Currently the system does not collate at a national level details of the numbers of patients who are admitted to Emergency Departments due to adverse reactions to prescription medicine. However there are processes in place for monitoring and regulating the safety of prescribed medicines.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the statutory agency responsible for monitoring the safety of licensed medicines. Monitoring is carried out in a number of ways including review and evaluation of suspected adverse reaction reports, published literature, epidemiological studies and additional clinical trial results. The HPRA continually assesses new and emerging safety data as it becomes available and undertakes regulatory action as appropriate.
The HPRA encourages healthcare professionals and medicine users to report suspected adverse reactions to medicines. Such reports are essential for the HPRA to ensure that regulatory action/proposals take account of all available data. There are several options in place for reporting suspected adverse reactions to the HPRA including online reporting options and the traditional “yellow card” which can be completed and forwarded to HPRA utilising ‘free post’.
On Monday 19th September 2016 the HPRA’s first public information campaign went live across national radio, digital and print media. The aim of the 6 week advertising campaign was to create awareness of the importance and benefits of taking medicines safely. It encouraged the public to take three minutes to always read the information leaflet with their medicine and to make sure that they know the correct dose and instructions for use.
Pharmacists also have an important role to play in ensuring the safe use of medicines.
Under the Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and Regulation 9 and 10 of the Regulation of Retail Pharmacy Businesses Regulations 2008, pharmacists have a professional and legal responsibility to ensure that prescription-only medicines and non-prescription medicines are supplied safely to patients and members of the public, with sufficient information for their appropriate and rational use. As a recognised expert in the use of medicines, the pharmacist has a unique opportunity and duty to discharge that responsibility in their interaction with patients. Individuals taking prescription or non-prescription medicines are encouraged to discuss their medications with their pharmacist or doctor.