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EDITIONS
Tranquillisers Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Timeline: 1980's
TIMELINE: 1980s

1980
The Committee on the Review of Medicines publishes a "Systematic Review of Benzodiazepines." It states that there is "little convincing evidence" that the drugs continue to work if prescribed for more than four months at a time.

Warnings start to appear in relation to Benzodiazepines. Short-term use only is advised. Yet repeat prescriptions are still commonly issued and long-term use continues.

The That's Life Team
'That's Life' raised awareness about tranquilliser dependency
1984
The BBC's 'That's Life' programme launches an awareness campaign about Benzodiazepine addiction.

The programme commissions a Mori Poll. It shows 23% of the population have taken tranquillisers and 35% of those have been on them for longer than four months.

1988
Lawyers representing tranquilliser addicts announce a plan to sue the drug companies which developed and marketed the drugs.

Committee of Safety of Medicines Report
Doctors are advised not to prescribe benzodiazepines long-term
Over 13,000 people are granted legal aid to join the action, making it the biggest personal injury claim ever sought in the British Courts.

The Committee of Safety of Medicines send a circular to prescribing doctors. It states that benzodiazepines should be prescribed for no more than four weeks at a time.

Guidelines warn that withdrawal symptoms may continue for weeks or months.

Panorama: Special report on tranquillisers


BACKGROUND

INTERACT

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


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