Consolidating the discipline of pharmaceutical medicine in the United Kingdom
Pharmaceutical agents are fundamental to modern medicine. They are, however, like most effective therapies, associated with risk. Decisions regarding the continuation of research and the development or marketing of individual agents are based on an assessment of the risk balanced against the potential benefit. Consequently the responsibility for developing, marketing and monitoring such agents whilst ensuring maximum benefit with minimum risk is considerable. Risk/benefit analysis is a complex task involving detailed knowledge not only of medicine and research, but also of managerial and economic features implicit in both private and public sector health care and its associated industries. Over the last 30 years increasing numbers of physicians have been employed in the pharmaceutical industry and in drug regulatory authorities to help steer compounds through the decisions in risk/benefit assessment. Pharmaceutical physician has become the recognized term for such a doctor.
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