Communicating benefits and risks of medicines

The safer use of medicines depends on everyone’s constant awareness and vigilance – strong communications practice is an important part of that process.

Raising awareness

Solid communications strategies in an area as complex as pharmacovigilance are crucial. A reliable flow of relevant information allows people to stay informed about the benefits and risks of medicines, the importance of reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs), and the role of dialogue between patients and physicians. 

Uppsala Monitoring Centre strives to meet a global need for better communication practices in our field. Our communication activities focus on raising awareness of UMC’s work, the importance of pharmacovigilance, and the basics of how adverse drug reactions occur and should be handled.

We have also taken on the mission to strengthen communications capacities within the global pharmacovigilance community. We do this through training and lectures, social science-based research, and by producing and sharing innovative campaign materials and information packages – much of which you can find on this page.

Uppsala Reports

Keep updated on the latest news on safer use of medicines, the activities of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring, and related topics through our news site and magazine, Uppsala Reports.

Read Uppsala Reports   About Uppsala Reports

Drug Safety Matters

Tune in to our podcast to hear about the most pressing issues in medicines safety today. Every month we are joined in the studio by a special guest.

Find out more and subscribe

Patient-centred communication

UMC has produced a range of materials and campaigns that are aimed directly at the general public and patient populations. We encourage pharmacovigilance actors to use these to spread much-needed information in their own communities. 


During the annual #MedSafetyWeek, UMC teams up with medicines regulatory authorities around the world to launch a social media campaign that raises awareness of side effects of medicines.

Learn more and join the campaign

World Antibiotic Awareness Week

​​WHO organises World Antibiotic Awareness Week in November each year to bring attention to the spread of antibiotic resistance. UMC makes a small campaign kit available for free to the public, based on our comic book Annie & Mac’s Adventures.

Read more about Annie & Mac