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.

How medicines safety works 

So what is pharmacovigilance and why is it important? This illustrated story brings to life the medicines safety cycle and can be used to educate people about the importance of reporting side effects.

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Quick guides for effective communication

Make no mistake, creating clear and concise messaging that resonates with your audience is an art form. To help you get started here are some pointers, from how to go about capturing people's attention to fighting misinformation.

Download our tips here

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


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

Vaccine Safety Net

Uppsala Monitoring Centre is a member of the Vaccine Safety Net, a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.

Visit WHO's Vaccine Safety Net site