The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for March 2021 (PDF).
This month readers are advised of an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer and progressive multifocal encephalopathy (PML) in patients taking bendamustine (Levact®). Bendamustine is an anti-cancer medicine so it is expected that this advice applies to specialists however patients may present in primary care if they are not aware of the link. As such primary care clinicians should be aware and signpost to the specialist for advice.
This issue also contains an update on COVID-19 vaccines and medicines that includes links to updated patient information leaflets and a report that summarises information received via the Yellow Card scheme. So far, the majority of reported side effects are mild and short-lasting and indicate a normal immune response to vaccines.
Finally in this issue is a summary of letters to healthcare professionals sent in February that were generally regarding product recalls.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this month's new guidance and implement any necessary changes to practice.