Balancing safety against need

Kathy Redmond

When Pfizer followed Merck & co in withdrawing one of their COX-2 inhibitors from the market owing to increased risks of cardiovascular complications, it provided a timely reminder that medicines are not without their risks. We have known about the potential harm associated with medicines for centuries. Almost 500 years ago Paracelsus wrote: Dosis facit venenum (the dose makes the poison) – in other words, the higher the dose of any particular chemical, the greater its toxic effect on living organisms. Beneficial medicines can turn poisonous if you take too much – low-dose aspirin can reduce heart disease but higher doses can kill.

Download full article

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.