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A memorable letter: The ethos of drug safety monitoring

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 14 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:837
  1. Ronald D Mann, senior professorial fellow
  1. University of Southampton

    Thirty four years ago Sir Derrick Dunlop, chairman of the Committee on Safety of Drugs, wrote a “Dear Doctor” letter which contained comments and promises that have proved to be important in drug safety monitoring in Britain.

    The committee—forerunner of today's Committee on Safety of Medicines—asked “every member of the medical profession in the United Kingdom” to report “promptly details of any untoward condition in a patient which might be the result of drug treatment.” The italic emphasis was Sir Derrick's and its consequence is that even today the yellow card reporting form is headed to show that it …

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