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Withdrawing a drug from the market

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Withdrawing a drug from the market

In November 1993 the UK Medicines Control Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines issued a warning about the risk of aplastic anaemia in patients taking remoxipride (Roxiam - Astra).1 In December we concluded that because of these risks and the need for repeated blood monitoring, the burden of the use of remoxipride no longer warranted its continued marketing.2 On 12 January 1994 Astra wrote to doctors and pharmacists in the UK announcing that Roxiam would be withdrawn from general release on 15 February. Five years ago we discussed how drugs are brought to the market place.3 This article outlines how they can be removed.

Under the terms of the Medicines Act (1968), …

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