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MRC fears drug development may suffer

16th March 2006

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has expressed fears that the development of new medicines may suffer following this week's drug testing debacle.

Six men were hospitalised with organ failure on Tuesday evening after taking an anti-inflammatory test drug, with two men still in a life threatening condition.

Chief executive of the MRC’s technology unit Roberto Solari told the BBC that it fears people will now be reluctant to come forward to participate in trials.

He said that tests on humans are "important for the development of new medicines.

"We wouldn’t want people to stop coming forward for clinical trials because of these terrible events," he said, adding that such cases are extremely rare.

Mr Solari said that many drug companies are now planning to publish the results of tests of drugs that they do not proceed with, in a bid to better inform the public of the minimal risks involved.