Making sense of drug safety science

January 22, 2014, Medical Research Council

(Medical Xpress)—Why do drugs have side effects and what can be done about them? Making Sense of Drug Safety Science, a guide to answer these precise questions has been produced by Sense about Science, in collaboration with the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool. Launched on the 13 November 2013, it will feature on the NICE Medicines Prescribing alert service and explains all you need to know about drug side effects.

Drug-related , or Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) events, in hospitals cost the NHS around £2bn per year and account for 15-18 per cent of hospital-based complications. Moreover around 30 per cent of all drug development failures are due to ADRs, posing a significant financial burden to pharmaceutical companies.

The MRC's investment in the Centre for Drug Safety Science seeks specifically to improve fundamental understanding of side effects by creating a collaborative environment between academia, industry and regulators, with the aim of improving health through the safety of medicines. As well as the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science and UK-wide fellowship and grant schemes in science, other MRC investments include the MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester, and the Integrative Toxicology Training Programme.

On-going priorities for the MRC in Drug Safety Science include stem cell-based approaches for drug safety testing and the 'Biomedical Catalyst'; this is an integrated translational programme, in collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board, to drive forward stratified medicine approaches to better target drugs to patient subgroups, with the aim of improving safety and efficacy of treatments.

Welcoming the Making Sense of Drug Safety Science guide as a way to help demystify why side effects happen, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Keith Ridge from the Department of Health said:

"We know that serious side effects are having an impact on which medicines we can use and how. We need to understand more about side effects and who will be at risk to use a wider number of existing drugs safely, develop new drugs more effectively, and allocate healthcare funds more efficiently."

Minister for Science and Universities, David Willetts, said:

"This guide provides an insight into how UK academia and industry partners are tackling the problem of side effects. It's important that we all understand that investment in this type of research plays such a significant role in minimising the risks presented by new drugs, as well as helping to get to the market and saving the NHS millions of pounds. This work has a global impact and I hope to see the MRC Centre for Drug Safety in Science continue to perform an important role in society for years to come."

Explore further: EU regulator: No more problems with Roche drugs

More information: The guide is available here: www.senseaboutscience.org/data … e-of-Drug-Safety.pdf

Related Stories

EU regulator: No more problems with Roche drugs

November 19, 2013
The European Medicines Agency says it has finished an investigation of the way pharmaceutical giant Roche reported side effects for 19 drugs in the U.S. and has found no new safety concerns.

Stem cells reach standard for use in drug development

June 11, 2013
Drug development for a range of conditions could be improved with stem cell technology that helps doctors predict the safety and the effectiveness of potential treatments.

Harvard's Wyss Institute and AstraZeneca announce collaboration on Organs-on-Chips for drug safety

October 16, 2013
Today the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and AstraZeneca announced a collaboration that will leverage the Institute's Organs-on-Chips technologies to better predict safety of drugs ...

FDA seeks faster warning updates for generic drugs

November 8, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking a rule change to allow generic drugmakers to quickly update their warning labels with new safety information for doctors and patients.

Database tracks toxic side effects of pharmaceuticals

December 5, 2013
Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. Pharmaceutical drugs are known for their potential side effects, and an important aspect of personalized medicine is to tailor therapies to individuals to reduce the chances ...

Recommended for you

Opioid addiction treatment behind bars reduced post-incarceration overdose deaths in RI

February 14, 2018
A treatment program for opioid addiction launched by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections was associated with a significant drop in post-incarceration drug overdose deaths and contributed to an overall drop in overdose ...

Heroin vaccine blocks lethal overdose

February 14, 2018
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have achieved a major milestone toward designing a safe and effective vaccine to both treat heroin addiction and block lethal overdose of the drug. Their research, published ...

Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines

February 12, 2018
Federally funded research contributed to the science underlying all new medicines approved by the FDA over the past six years, according to a new study by Bentley University.

Opioid use increases risk of serious infections

February 12, 2018
Opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require treatment at the hospital, such as pneumonia and meningitis, as compared to people who don't use opioids.

Placebo pills prescribed honestly help cancer survivors manage symptoms

February 9, 2018
Long after cancer treatment ends, many continue to deal with one particular symptom that refuses to go away: fatigue. In a new study, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Harvard Medical School have ...

Multinational companies continue to produce unregulated antibiotics in India

February 5, 2018
Millions of unapproved antibiotics are being sold in India, according to a new study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Newcastle University.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.