Weblinks for Medicines
Patient information leaflets on medicines are available on the electronic Medicines Compendium site.
Stages in the development of a new medicine
The Wellcome Trusts's excellent Big Picture series includes one on
drug development (1.5 MB) which also discusses a range of wider issues.
Experimental design of clinical trials
A course on evidence based medicine includes a nice set of explanations, with graphics, of the key terms such as double-blind or cohort study.
The BEEP site provides information on ways of presenting and analysing data that is very relevant to drug trials. Look under how science works. http://www.beep.ac.uk/content/15.0.html
An OU course on statistics provides a useful reference source for topics such as box-and –whisker plots.
Evidence based medicine
Good article titled ‘How to evaluate health risks’ with check lists on how to evaluate a report of a drug trial.
Bandolier is the journal of evidence based medicine. It includes evaluations of many treatments presented in accessible tables and graphs. Also a source of useful information for data analysis exercises.
Information on evidence based medicine and how to make decisions about treatments from NHS direct.
Behind the Headlines is part of the NHS Choices site. It gives a careful evaluation of press reports on health and medicines, comparing the press report with the original scientific paper.
Useful readable booklet on weighing up claims about cures and treatments for long-term conditions from Sense about Science
Medicine and healthcare products regulatory agency, MHRA, is a site mainly for professionals. But it contains excellent information on side effects of medicines and how to report them and a good set of information and links on MMR.
Reports of the committee National Institute for Clinical Excellence which evaluates medicines for clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.
Every therapy has at least one site. The list below gives some of them:
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
NHS Direct provides a summary for some therapies
Evidence for the effectiveness of alternative medicine
Reviews of research into the effectiveness of most types of alternative therapy are to be found on the Bandolier site.
The Society of Homeopaths reports on research carried out by its members.
The British Acupuncture Council describes research into the effectiveness of acupuncture using an approach similar to that used by Bandolier but often coming to different conclusions.
The Guardian newspaper runs regular articles on alternative medicine often by Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter.