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The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) teams up to promote #MedSafetyWeek


The TGA teams up annually with medicines safety organisations and regulators around the world to promote #MedSafetyWeek. This year’s event runs from 6 to 12 November.



During the annual #MedSafetyWeek, Uppsala Monitoring Centre teams up with medicines regulators around the world to encourage reporting of side effects by consumers and health professionals.   

Such adverse event reports are an important part of identifying any emerging problems and help us to keep medicines safe (an activity known as pharmacovigilance).

Our Pharmacovigilance Branch Head, Elspeth Kay, said #MedSafetyWeek had grown massively since its inception: ‘What started out as 32 medicine regulators in 2017 has grown to include 100 organisations from 88 countries this year.

‘At the TGA we are proud to take part and raise awareness of the value of adverse event reporting.

‘Reporting adverse events is important and anyone can do it.

‘People became more alert to the issue during the COVID-19 pandemic and learned how to report. This helped us greatly in tracking the safety profile of vaccines.

‘We ask everyone to have a discussion with their friends and family to raise awareness.

‘I’m confident the non-English translations of the campaign materials will help the message spread more widely.

‘To report an adverse event visit the Report a problem or side effect page on our website.

‘Remember, every report counts.’

Adverse events are unintended and sometimes harmful occurrences associated with the use of a medicine, vaccine or medical device. No medicine or medical device is totally risk-free. Some risks are already known when the product is approved, whereas others are only discovered when a product is used in lots of people or in particular populations such as older people with existing medical conditions.

Reporting adverse events gives us insight into emerging safety issues. If we identify a safety concern, we can take regulatory action to reduce the risk and ensure the product continues to have acceptable safety, effectiveness and quality. We publish alerts to ensure that health professionals and the public are aware of the safety concern and communicate any changes to the availability and recommended use of the product.

#MedSafetyWeek is coordinated by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) in Sweden and has been running since 2017, with a different focus each year.

This year focuses on 'Who can report?': how patients, doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals can contribute to pharmacovigilance.

Campaign materials include animations produced by UMC, featuring cartoon characters affected by a range of adverse events. The short animations are tailored for use in each participating country and this year’s Australian animations will be available in English, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, and Greek.

Find out more by visiting UMC's campaign website- external site for #MedSafetyWeek.