Published: 7 November 2022


#MedSafetyWeek 2022 Press Release

7 November 2022

Every report of a suspected side effect helps to improve the safety of medicines for everyone

Medicines are used to help people when they’re sick. All medicines are checked for both safety and effectiveness before they’re made widely available and to help make medicines even safer, people are encouraged to report suspected side effects of medicines as part of the global #MedSafetyWeek social media event

The seventh annual #MedSafetyWeek starts today and runs until 13 November. The goal is to encourage everyone to report suspected side effects of medicines. This year’s global event involves medicines regulators from 81 countries worldwide. It focuses on the important role that every healthcare professional, patient and carer has in reporting suspected side effects and contributing to medicines safety.

All medicines may cause side effects in some patients, so there are steps in place to monitor safety after the medicines are placed on the market. Safety monitoring aims to gain more information about known side effects and identify new ones. Medicine regulators like Medsafe have systems to detect and analyse possible safety issues and prevent harm to future patients.

You contribute to medicines safety when you report suspected side effects to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM). Medsafe and CARM use information from these reports to learn more about the safety of a medicine. If a new side effect is identified or there is new information about a known side effect, Medsafe can act when necessary to help protect you and others from harm. You can see examples of how Medsafe takes action by reading the Medsafe Safety Communication.

New Zealand has a high rate of reporting. You can read more about our reporting rates on the Medsafe website.

Chris James, Group Manager of Medsafe, says:

“Every report made by a patient, a healthcare professional or a carer plays a key role in helping Medsafe learn more about the benefits and risks of medicines.

“Reporting suspected side effects helps to improve the safety of medicines for everyone. Sometimes, it can result in updated prescribing advice, which can improve safe use of the medicine.

“If you or someone you know might be experiencing a side effect to a medicine, make sure to report it to CARM.”

Anyone can report suspected side effects to CARM. You can submit a report online at

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