Drugs & Therapy Perspectives

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 209–218 | Cite as

Assessment of the impact of the Scottish public health campaign on patient reporting of adverse drug reactions

  • Mamoon A. AldeyabEmail author
  • Sheila C. Noble
  • Melinda Cuthbert
  • Simon Maxwell
  • James Dear
  • Anne Boyter
Original Research Article



The aim was to assess patterns in reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) via the Yellow Card (YC) Scheme following a Scottish community pharmacy patient YC promotional campaign (January–February 2011).


YC data were obtained from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) [January 2009–February 2012]. The impact of the campaign on YC reporting rates was assessed by comparing YC submission rates before and after the intervention, using the segmented regression of interrupted time-series analysis.


The mean weekly reported ADRs [excluding general practitioner (GP) reports] before, during, and after the campaign were 0.029, 0.019, and 0.023 (per 10,000 inhabitants), respectively. In relation to patients’ YC reporting, the mean weekly patient-reported ADRs before, during, and after the campaign in Scotland were 0.005, 0.002, and 0.004 (per 10,000 inhabitants), respectively. The time-series analysis for monthly reported ADRs in Scotland (excluding GP reports) demonstrated no statistically significant level change (p = 0.706) and no significant trend change (p = 0.509) post-campaign. Similarly, there was no statistically significant level change (p = 0.983) and no significant trend change (p = 0.591) in patient YC reporting.


The campaign had no statistically significant impact on influencing the reporting of ADRs. This study adds to a growing body of required information in this area, and suggests improvements if future patient ADR-reporting promotional campaigns are to be considered; the cost-effectiveness of such efforts requires further research. It is recommended that any similar future campaigns should include qualitative attitudinal data collection and evaluation to help further explore this more robustly.


National Health Service Community Pharmacy Varenicline Community Pharmacist Promotional Campaign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Ms. Sharon Suri (MHRA) for assistance in extraction of the YC data, and Dr. Alistair Millar (NHS Lothian) and Mrs. Anne MacKay (YC Centre Scotland) for their help with dataset manipulation. We are also indebted to Mrs. Moira Kinnear (NHS Lothian) for facilitating liaison with the University of Strathclyde, and to Ms. Sarah Smith (YC Centre Northern and Yorkshire) for assistance with clarification of the contents of their dataset.

Compliance with ethical standards


No sources of funding were used to conduct the study or prepare this report.

Conflicts of interest

M. A. Aldeyab S. C. Noble, M. Cuthbert, S. Maxwell, J. Dear, and A. Boyter declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this manuscript.

Ethical approval

Because of the study design, NHS ethical review was not required. The project was approved by ISAC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mamoon A. Aldeyab
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sheila C. Noble
    • 3
  • Melinda Cuthbert
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simon Maxwell
    • 3
    • 5
  • James Dear
    • 3
    • 5
  • Anne Boyter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical SciencesGlasgowScotland
  2. 2.Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre (MOIC), Antrim Area HospitalNorthern Health and Social Care TrustAntrimNorthern Ireland, UK
  3. 3.Yellow Card Centre ScotlandRoyal Infirmary of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  4. 4.Pharmacy ServiceNHS LothianEdinburghUK
  5. 5.Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Clinical Research Centre, Western General HospitalUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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