Adverse drug reaction teaching in UK undergraduate medical and pharmacy programmes

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2004 Feb;29(1):31-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2710.2003.00533.x.


Objectives: To assess the extent of teaching about the Committee on Safety of Medicine's Yellow Card scheme and adverse drug reactions within UK Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Methods: A self-completed questionnaire sent to all heads of undergraduate schools of medicine and pharmacy within the UK.

Results: The majority of undergraduate syllabi feature the Yellow Card Scheme. Knowledge of the Yellow Card Scheme was assessed in 79% of pharmacy programmes and 57% of medical schools. Specialist speakers on the Yellow Card Scheme were infrequently used. Fewer than half of respondents provided students with a guide to reporting ADRs (43% pharmacy and 43% medical). There is some disagreement about the value of supplying students with printed material about the Yellow Card Scheme. Half of medical Schools did not think that supplying 'Current Problems In Pharmacovigilance' would be useful.

Conclusions: It was found that in both medicine and pharmacy, courses differed substantially in teaching about the Yellow Card Scheme and adverse drug reactions (ADRs). There is scope for increased involvement of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in undergraduate education, in line with recommendations from the National Audit Office.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Humans
  • United Kingdom