The Therapeutic Nightmare

The Therapeutic Nightmare : Corporate Power and Drug Safety - the Battle over the World's Most Controversial Tranquilliser

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This volume demonstrates the complex interplay between industrial, professional and government interest in drug regulation and the secrecy that surrounds it. The authors assess the safety procedures devised by governments in the UK and the US to control medicines and protect consumers. Focusing on the control of tranquilizers, and the drug Halcion in particular, Abraham and Sheppard explain why such drugs are so valuable to pharmaceutical companies. In particular the authors examine how and why controls to protect patients against Halcion failed. Developed in the 1970s, Halcion was phenomenally successful. In the 1980s it was licensed in 35 countries, became the world's tranquilizer of choice by 1986, and by 1991 had sales worth US$237 million. In the 1990s accusations that patients were suffering powerful and adverse side-effects from Halcion brought together the manufacturers, the medical profession and even the government, in a high-profile legal battle to maintain the drug's credibility.
Abraham and Sheppard examine this case in the context of the enormous commercial power and influence of drug companies, widespread patient vulnerability and the over-pessimism of British and American government agencies surrounding patient protection.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0745313671
  • 9780745313672

Table of contents

The nature of tranquilizer drugs; British and American medicine controls; the rise of Halcion; sounding the retreat - the accumulation of post-marketing problems; legal challenge and loss of faith - British medicine control in crisis; how the West was won? keep taking the tablets in the USA; prescription for change - the science and politics of medicines control.
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