This site is intended for health professionals only

Drug history available over net

A drugs watchdog and pharmaceuticals organisation have joined forces to launch a website where patients can find out the history of a medicine's development.

The site aims to tell people about the "lifecycle" of drugs, how scientists pinpoint diseases, who regulates medicines, their clinical trials, types of research, and risks associated with the products.

The mymedicine 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.

"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."

Copyright © PA Business 2008