Drugs’ side-effect data reveals the torment of human guinea pigs

I’ve blogged before on the data on drugs’ side-effects held by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and how articles based on those statistics need a health warning attached to them.

Why? Because there is no firm link between the drug and the side-effect and there is no data on the numbers of people taking the drug so it is impossible to calculate the relative frequency of side-effects. Also most critically there is no way of doing a risk-benefit analysis to see if the side-effects are worth having in comparison to the good that the drug might be doing the person.

These criticisms I recently levelled [here] at the rash of articles about the alleged risks associated with the HPV vaccine that is given to all teenage schoolgirls.

It is only right however, to balance up those pieces of work with another recent article – again based on the side-effects database held by MHRA, on the issue of human guinea pigs being the test ground for experimental drugs.

Martin Bagot at the Daily Mirror cannily got hold of the data to write the article below and tied it in nicely with a famous drugs trial in 2006 which went spectacularly wrong.

The data that appears to have been used in the article seems to relate to all drugs used in clinical trials and what might be even more interesting is if we were able to drill down into the type of drugs and the conditions that they were supposed to be treating. I shall ask the question of the MHRA and hope to report back.

Daily Mirror - June 2015

Daily Mirror – June 2015

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