The programme examines the relationship between the government and the prescription drugs industry in the area of drug safety.
|Module code and title:
|T361, Control of technology
|First transmission date:
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|Alan Dobie; Richard Arnold; Colin, Herxheimer, A. Virji, A. A. N. Dollery; Peter, Gadsby, Dr. Howell; Dr. Shaw; Dr. Griffin; G. Jones
|BBC Open University
|Committee on Safety of Medicines; Pharmaceutical industry; Regulators
|Film of Peter Howell, a pharmaceutical representative, in his car and then getting out and walking into a health centre. Commentary by Howell briefly outlines his job. Over shots of Howell waiting to see the doctor at the health centre, Alan Dobie (v/o) briefly introduces the programme. Colin Dollery, Prof, of Clinical Pharmacology at Hammersmith Hospital Medical School, explains how the innovative process in the development of new drugs has changed radically over the past 30 years. He points out that most of the prescription drugs being bought out now are no great improvement on drugs already available. Film of Peter Howell in the office of Dr Virgi at the health centre. Howell is trying to interest the doctor in the products of his company Dr Herxheimer, Charing Cross Medical School, points out why, in his view, drug companies want doctors to prescribe drugs by brand name. Peter Howell, shown in his car, confirms this from his company's point of view. Alan Dobie (v/o animation) introduces a discussion on drug safety control. Film of a meeting between two doctors in charge of drug testing for a major drug company and two scientific civil servants of the D.H.S.S. Medicines Division. The representatives of drug company are seeking testing guidelines for new drugs which they are planning to introduce. Alan Dobie (v/o) breaks in at intervals to give background information. Prof. Dollery, former member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (C.S.M.), discusses the adequacy of the drug test and licensing procedures. More film of Peter Howell at work in order to illustrate how a drug company representative operates within the regulations. Shots of Howell having lunch with a group of doctors and then showing them a promotional film. Prof. Dollery discusses the problem of biased information being given to the doctor by the drug company representatives and the disadvantages of doctors being bombarded with a large number of very similar drugs from various drug companies. Dobie (v/o), Prof. Dollery, Dr Arnold and Prof. Herxheimer discuss whether or not the C.S.M. should decide if a new drug is necessary at all if it is only marginally different from existing drugs. Dobie (v/o), Herxheimer and Peter Howell wind up the programme with brief concluding remarks.
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