New safety measures needed prior to drug licensing

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  • Reactions 1024 - 23 Oct 2004

    New safety measures needed priorto drug licensing

    The implementation of new safety measures prior todefinite licensing of drugs will reduce the number ofpatients exposed to unknown hazards and "providerobust and unbiased evidence on adverse events", sayDrs Paul Dieppe, Shah Ebrahim and Richard Martin fromthe University of Bristol, England, and Dr Peter Juni fromthe University of Berne, Switzerland.

    They raise three concerns following the withdrawal ofrofecoxib [Vioxx]: that it needs to be determined whether rofecoxibs

    cardiovascular effects are a class effect and, if so,what degree of cyclo-oxygenase 2 inhibition isneeded to produce this adverse effect

    that the widespread use of NSAIDs fornoninflammatory pain should be reconsidered

    that measures to prevent further similar episodesmust be found.

    To address the third concern, Drs Dieppe, Ebrahim,Martin and Juni recommend that pharmaceuticalcompanies be required to prospectively register allrandomised controlled trials and that, on completion ofthe trials, data on serious adverse events should bemade available to the public immediately. They alsorecommend the "phased introduction of newinterventions through randomised trials", the use of bothpublished and unpublished data to continuously updatesystematic reviews of adverse effects, and financialfirewalls between pharmaceutical companies and theresearchers conducting clinical studies or systematicreviews.Dieppe PA, et al. Lessons from the withdrawal of rofecoxib: patients would besafer if drug companies disclosed adverse events before licensing. BMJ 329:867-868, No. 7471, 16 Oct 2004 800973929


    Reactions 23 Oct 2004 No. 10240114-9954/10/1024-0001/$14.95 Adis 2010 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved


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