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EDITIONS
Tranquillisers Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Timeline: 1960's
TIMELINE: 1960s

Celebrity deaths from barbiturate overdose, such as those of Jimi Hendrix and Marilyn Monroe, help dissuade people from using the drugs.

Benzodiazapines are considered a safer alternative and heralded as the new wonder drugs. Promoted as "Mother's little helpers", they're pitched as a panacea for the anxious, sleep deprived and depressed - the perfect replacement for barbiturates.

Roche Production Line
Valium was mass produced to meet demand
Valium, Mogadon and Librium are introduced to the UK and become hugely popular with prescribing GPs. Mogadon is promoted exclusively for insomnia as "the safer alternative to barbiturates."

1968
The Medicines Act is passed. It provides a shake-up of pharmaceutical dispensing. One provision sets up independent expert advisory committees to research into drugs before licenses are granted.

These include the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) and the committee on Review of Medicines (CRM).

The CRM undertakes a systematic review of licensed medicines - those not meeting new standards of efficacy, safety and quality are withdrawn.

Drug manufacturers are for the first time required by law to publish data sheets for each product.

Panorama: Special report on tranquillisers


BACKGROUND

INTERACT

TIMELINE
Links to more Tranquillisers stories are at the foot of the page.


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