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Website offers information on drugs

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Two health bodies have teamed up to launch a website giving patients more information about the medicines they use.

The site aims to inform people about the “life-cycle” of drugs, how scientists pinpoint diseases, who regulates medicines, their clinical trials, types of research, and risks associated with the products.

The site is a joint venture from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Professor Kent Woods, chief executive of the MHRA, said: “Medicines can bring big benefits, but as with any medical treatment, no medicine is risk-free.

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“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.”

Anne Joshua, NHS Direct associate director of pharmacy, said: “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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