Medicine And Books

Problem Drugs

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 11 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1310
  1. Anthony Costello, senior lecturer
  1. in international child health, Institute of Child Health, London

    Andrew Chetley Zed Books, £14.95, pp 338 ISBN 1856493202

    Drugs are big business. By the year 2000 the world market in pharmaceuticals is expected to reach $330 billion. The industry provides jobs and incomes, tax revenues, and a reliable investment for pension funds. Oh, and medicines. And therein lies the “inherent conflict of interest,” identified by the World Health Organisation, between the legitimate business interests of pharmaceutical companies and the needs of prescribers and users for medicines to be developed and used “in a rational way.”

    Of course we need research and development for new drugs, and we cannot expect any new medicine to be free from an element of risk. …

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