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Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to provide resources to scientists and researchers to enable them to perform more thorough investigations into the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on patients.

We see no reason at present to provide more funds from a central source for this purpose. Pre-marketing research into the effect of medical products, including these drugs, is undertaken or financed by pharmaceutical companies. Through its stringent examination for evidence of safety, efficacy and quality in all applications for new product licences for these and other medicines, the United Kingdom licensing authority, as advised by the Committee on the Safety of Medicines, actively encourages industry to undertake thorough pre-marketing research.In the last 2 years the CSM has specially reviewed adverse reactions and the benefit risk ratios of the marketed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The CSM can call on this experience in assessing any drug in this class, both at the licensing stage and following introduction on the market.Comparatively rare adverse reactions to medicines may not be detectable until the medicines are in wider use than is possible before marketing. The committee therefore monitors all medical products after they have been marketed and pays particular attention to drugs substances which are comparatively new on the market.