New Web Resource About Medicines
News Sep 26, 2008
This new resource is a guide to the life-cycle of new medicines, from their first scientific discovery through to licensing and on-going monitoring. It is available at www.mhra.gov.uk/mymedicine
It describes how scientists pinpoint diseases and set about the painstaking task of finding compounds which can combat specific illnesses. Up to 1,000 compounds are tested to find as few as 30 ‘hits’ - compounds worthy of further investigation.
After years of research and safety trials, new medicines have to be licensed for use in the UK and after being approved they are continually monitored for safety, all of which is explained at www.mhra.gov.uk/mymedicine
The site is a joint initiative from the regulators of medicines in the UK – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – and the makers of medicines – represented by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Professor Kent Woods, MHRA Chief Executive said, “Medicines can bring big benefits, but as with any medical treatment, no medicine is risk-free. By making as much information as possible publicly available, we can help people make informed choices about the medicines they take.
“We want to make sure people understand the relationship between the risks and the benefits and we encourage people to tell us about any problems they have with a medicine, so that we can investigate and help make medicines safer.”
Karen Miller, a director at the ABPI said, “More and more people are going online to find out about health-related issues, and while the internet is a superb resource, it contains a lot of disinformation.
“With the MHRA, we wanted to create a website which provides an authoritative and reliable source of information which explains the time and effort invested into medicines before they arrive in the medicine cabinet.”
Anne Joshua, NHS Direct Associate Director of Pharmacy said, “NHS Direct regularly receive calls from members of the public about new treatments and their availability on the NHS. Typically they may have heard about a new medicine in the media and want to know about the benefits and risks for treating their individual condition, or as a carer, if it is available for their elderly relative with more than one long term condition. If the medicine is still undergoing investigation they may want to know how they can join a clinical trial or if a clinical specialist can prescribe it for them anyway.
“This new web resource will provide the necessary reassurance to patients and their families about how new medicines are rigorously tested before they are available to the public and what measures are taken to ensure the safety of newly licensed medicines as they are used across the range of conditions that they treat.”
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