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Separate R&D budget is needed for monitoring effects of new drugs

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 21 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:939
  1. Patrick Vallance, Professor (
  1. Cruciform Project, Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University College London, London W1P 9LN

    EDITOR—The pharmaceutical industry exists to make medicines and to make money from these medicines. Specialists like to use promising medicines as soon as possible, and patients and pressure groups have agitated for easier access to new medicines. These lobbies form a powerful force. With existing checks and safeguards—licensing authorities, formulary committees—many drugs are introduced, some of which are no more effective than older ones or turn out to be harmful. Even if the systems are improved and extended it is …

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