Conclusions

The Yellow Card Scheme has been in existence for almost four decades. Despite its limitations, which are common to all spontaneous reporting schemes, it has a proven track record in the identification of previously unrecognised safety hazards. The Scheme has undergone continual evaluation and development over the years, and this will continue in the foreseeable future. This will ensure that the Scheme will continue to fulfil its central role in UK pharmacovigilance in the changing climate in which it operates, whilst continuing to adhere to the key principles defined by Sir Derrick Dunlop at the inception of the Scheme—spontaneity and speedi-ness, confidentiality, and, above all, the commitment of health professionals to report their suspicions in the interest of protecting public health.

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