An examination of adverse drug reaction reporting to the yellow card scheme

  • Anthony R. Cox

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Chief pharmacists in 209 hospitals were surveyed about ADR reporting schemes, the priority given to ADR reporting, and attitudes towards ADR reporting. ADR reporting had a low managerial priority. Local reporting schemes were found to be operating in 37% trusts, but there were few plans to start new schemes. Few problems were discovered by the introduction of pharmacist ADR reporting. Chief pharmacists had concerns about the competence of hospital pharmacists to detect ADRs and were in favour of increased training. Lack of time on wards, and recruitment difficulties were suggested as reasons for hospital pharmacist under-reporting. Teaching hospitals appeared to have an increased interest in ADR reporting. A retrospective analysis of reporting trends within the West Midlands region from 1994, showed increasing or stable reporting rates for most sectors of reporters, except for general practitioners (GPs). The West Midlands region maintained higher ADR reporting rates than the rest of the UK. National reporting figures showed a worrying decline in ADR reports from healthcare professionals. Variation was found in the ADR reporting rates of Acute NHS Hospital Trusts and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the West Midlands region, including correlations with prescribing rates and other PCT characteristics. Qualitative research into attitudes of GPs towards the Yellow Card scheme was undertaken. A series of qualitative interviews with GPs discovered barriers and positive motivators for their involvement in the Yellow Card scheme. A grounded theory of GP involvement in the Yellow Card scheme was developed to explain GP behaviour, and which could be used to inform potential solutions to halt declining rates of reporting. Under-reporting of ADRs continues to be a major concern to those who administer spontaneous reporting schemes.
Date of Award2007
Original languageEnglish


  • Adverse drug reaction reporting
  • yellow card scheme

Cite this