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Safer medicine
A number of new medicines have been criticised for being unsafe. The drug companies which produce them deny these
claims. Who is right?
1 Match the following medical conditions with the description of their effects.
(1) can cause heart disease, due to the amount of this substance in the blood (2) makes your joints swollen and painful (3) causes pain because the heart stops working normally (4) can make someone suddenly unable to speak or move (6) the body cannot reduce the amount of sugar in the blood Descriptions based on those in the Macmillan English Dictionary (2002 Text Bloomsbury)
2 Read the article below quickly and underline any of the medical conditions listed in exercise 1.
drug after it has been prescribed to many more patients than is possible in clinical trials. However, such an idea may slow claimed that five drugs currently on the market are ‘unsafe’. They include Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering drug from Astra Zeneca, and Serevent from GlaxoSmithKline, which is used by The pharmaceutical industry is receiving a lot of negative asthma patients. The share price of both companies fell criticism at the moment. Many think that prices are too high. dramatically as a result of these negative comments. The There has been recent concern about unethical behaviour by expert is a member of the US government's Food and Drug drug companies after GSK was fined for allegedly Administration, the FDA, whose responsibilities include suppressing negative clinical trial data. In the biggest drug working with the pharmaceutical industry to design clinical recall in history, pharmaceutical giant Merck was forced to trials in order to bring new drugs to the market. The FDA has withdraw Vioxx from the market last September when a company-sponsored trial found that patients who took the Both Astra Zeneca and GSK have denied the accusations, drug for more than 18 months doubled their risk of heart claiming their products are safe and effective. The CEO of attack or stroke. Merck is now facing legal claims of billions of Astra Zeneca has called for a new system of ‘conditional dollars. ‘You cannot have innovation without risk’ claim the approval’ for new drugs, so that they can be further drug companies; on the other hand, surely the public has a monitored for side-effects after initial launch. He says that this will allow companies to gain a better knowledge of the

Read the article again and summarise the different viewpoints of the pharmaceutical industry and its critics. Use the
following collocations where possible.

Discuss the following questions in small groups and report back to the class.
(1) Do you feel generally positive or negative about the pharmaceutical industry in your country? Why?
(2) Are drugs over-priced? Are drug companies more interested in profits than in saving lives?
(3) Do you think that drugs are sometimes rushed onto the market before they are completely safe?
This page has been downloaded from www.businessenglishonline.net. It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages. Copyright Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004.

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IJPMR 12, April 2001;11-18 Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Combination of Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs: A Three-year follow-up study Dr. N. Romi Singh, DNB (PMR), .MNAMS, Assistant Professor Dr. Kunjabasi Wangjam, MS (Ortho), DNB (PMR), Associate Professor & Head, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences,

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SO, WHAT IS A “POOR RESPONDER”? We now understand why ovarian reserve is important and how we assess it, but how is “poor response” defined? Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition for the `poor responding’ patient in a cycle of assisted reproduction, although what is not in doubt is that these patients invariably have lower pregnancy rates compare

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