People take medicines to maintain their health, prevent illness, manage chronic diseases, and get cured of diseases. Today over the counter medications are highly popular among those who want to get rid of common diseases such as coughs, fever, headache, joint pains and numerous other physical strains and aches. However, for more severe illness such as heart diseases, cancers, and many other such diseases, people consult doctors and obtain prescriptions, without which they cannot purchase over the counter without a physician’s recommendation.
English medicines are available in numerous forms and types. Pills, tablets, creams, syrups, injections, applications, vitamins and antibiotics are some of them. Since a high number of companies produce medicines, there are thousands of brand names of a type of drugs in the market. It is, therefore, most advisable to consult a doctor before buying over the counter medicines.
Before 2003, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) regulated English medicine in the United Kingdom. It enjoyed a highly laudable record in this regard. However, it was accepted that to improve the quality of medicines in the UK; the authorities could do much more through the agency and via other avenues. Sometimes, enough information on drugs was not provided for the patients for them to know about their adverse effects.
In the UK, many buy medicines through the internet as well. According to the MCA, the number of people who purchase drugs on prescription through the Internet has increased very much. On the other hand, most of the herbal medicines in the market were not licensed. The agency warned that most of these conventional drugs could interact with other medications and may cause severe side effects.
As a result, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was formed in 2003 by merging the MCA and the Medical Devices Agency (MDC) to carry out numerous programmes to ensure that the public receives quality medicines in the UK. They authorise dealers of drugs and conduct inspections to record the adverse effects of medications. They also inspect the listed drugs and medical equipment to ensure their good quality before releasing for public consumption.
The introduction of an exclusive system called the Yellow Card System for the public to report the adverse effects of drugs they buy. In this way, the public can fill in a report and send it to the MHRA for action. Then the MHRA will take necessary action to ensure that the sender as well the public will receive quality medicines.
The public can download yellow card forms online or get one from their pharmacist. They can also receive Yellow Card forms by calling, 0808 100 3352. They can also use Yellow Card app for free via iTunes or Google Play. The users of these apps can create a ‘watch list’. Via the watch list they can receive alerts on and news about medicines. They can also take a look at the Yellow Card forms that the MHRA received to date.