Raising pharmacovigilance awareness on social media

During the annual #MedSafetyWeek, Uppsala Monitoring Centre teams up with medicines regulatory authorities and national pharmacovigilance centres across the world to run a social media campaign that raises awareness of adverse drug reactions.

Regulators rely on reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to make sure medicines on the market are acceptably safe. Unfortunately, all reporting systems suffer from under reporting. That is why UMC coordinates an annual social media campaign to raise awareness of pharmacovigilance systems among patients and the public, and promote recognition and reporting of suspected ADRs.

For one week each year, medicines regulators across the globe simultaneously share campaign materials on their social media channels, with the hashtag #MedSafetyWeek. The 2023 campaign took place from 6 to 12 November, focusing on 'Who can report?': how patients, doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals can contribute to pharmacovigilance.

Previous campaigns have dealt with how patients and healthcare professionals make safety work (2022), how to encourage patients and healthcare professionals to report all side effects, especially those associated with vaccines (2021), new or experimental treatments (2020), polypharmacy (2019), children and pregnancy (2018), and over-the-counter products (2017). 

Visit the campaign website

Campaign materials include eye-catching animations produced by UMC, featuring funny cartoon characters whose unfortunate misuse of medicines leads to comical calamities. The short animations are adapted for use in each participating country – with text in the local language, logo of the medicines regulatory authority and a link to the national reporting system. Generic versions of the animations are available in several official UN languages and can be downloaded from the campaign library for free.

How can pharmacovigilance and healthcare professionals take part in #MedSafetyWeek?

The campaign materials can be shared on your personal or professional social media channels to raise awareness of adverse drug reactions and encourage people to report. You can also encourage pharmacovigilance centres, patient organisations, and medical or pharmaceutical associations in your country to share the animations.

If you would like to take part in the next campaign, or would like to have animations from past campaigns customised for your country, please contact UMC’s communications team. In return, we ask that you share your plan for how you will use the animations, and information on your audience’s response to the campaign.

UMC's communications team is happy to answer any further questions you may have about how you could use the campaign material.

Contact UMC’s communications team

Please note that we can only offer tailored versions of the animations to medicines regulatory authorities and their pharmacovigilance centres.

Last modified on: November 20, 2023