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Prazepam and valrelease: benzodiazepines to excess

Abstract

The benzodiazepine market is not merely crowded, but saturated, which is absurd. As a group the benzodiazepines are therapeutically important and commercially successful, so that it makes sense for manufacturers to compete for a slice of the cake. But ‘me-too’ and ‘me-again’ products confuse many prescribers, and harm patients who are switched from a drug that does not suit them to another which is almost indistinguishable. It is a serious shortcoming in the Medicines Act that the regulatory authority has no power to prevent the marketing of me-too products that offer no tangible advantages.1 Two new benzodiazepine preparations fall into this category.

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