Election candidate vows to push for modern drug safety testing

Nigel Quinton, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hitchin & Harpenden, is supporting an initiative to drastically improve the safety of new medicines. A million Britons are hospitalised each year by side effects of prescription medicines, killing more than 10

Nigel Quinton, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hitchin & Harpenden, is supporting an initiative to drastically improve the safety of new medicines. A million Britons are hospitalised each year by side effects of prescription medicines, killing more than 10,000 people and costing the NHS millions of pounds.

The Government currently requires animal tests before new medicines are given to people in clinical trials. But scientists disagree over the relevance of such tests to humans. Early Day Motion 29: Safety of Medicines calls on the Government to sponsor a comparison between traditional animal tests and state of the art techniques using human tissues and computer models.

Emphasising that health is a key area of concern, Mr Quinton said:

'If I am elected, I will be delighted to support such an important initiative, which should benefit patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry. I believe that policy should be evidence-based and this proposal will make that evidence available. It is important that drug safety testing is brought into the twenty-first century.'


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Dr Margaret Clotworthy, Science Director of patient safety group Safer Medicines Campaign, said:

'Our drug safety testing regulations are 40 years old and urgently need to be reviewed in the light of their failure to protect patients. Not only are these new technologies more relevant to humans, they are usually much faster and cheaper as well. We congratulate Mr Quinton for supporting this important motion.'

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