In 1975 the Committee on the Review of Medicines (CRM) began to examine the efficacy and safety of those drugs that were already on the market before 1971, when the present licensing procedures were introduced.1 It has already made recommendations on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs2 and on other drugs used in rheumatic diseases,3 and these led to improvements in the data sheets for these products but had no obvious effects in practice. However, with its most recent recommendations on barbiturates, the CRM is showing its teeth.
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