Select Committee on Health Fourth Report


Carcinogenicity  The capacity to cause cancer or increase the risk of developing cancer

Clinical end-point  A clinical measure used to determine the effect of an intervention (e.g. mortality rate after a heart attack)

COX-2 inhibitor  A drug that acts to reduce the action of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2, which produces natural substances that cause or enhance inflammation

Evergreening      Tactics used to extend the duration of a drug's patent

Herceptin      Drug used to treat breast cancer. Generic name trastuzumab

Human Genome Project  A long-term project to identify all the genes present in human DNA. Coordinated by the US Department of Energy and National Institutes of Health, with major input from the UK and other countries, the project was completed in 2003.

Iatrogenic illness    Ill-health induced by the use of medicines

Life-cycle management  Activity carried out to ensure a drug remains protected by its patent for as long as possible

Naturalistic setting  A clinical environment that closely mirrors routine practice or normal life

Orphan drugs  Medicines used to treat patients with rare diseases, for which no sponsoring company could be found under normal commercial conditions because of a small potential market.

Pharmacovigilance  The process of detecting and assessing unwanted effects of medicines once they are on the market

Suicidality      Suicidal feelings, thoughts or actions

Surrogate end-point  A measure that is used as a substitute for a clinically meaningful outcome

Venous thromboembolism  A blood clot in the veins that breaks off and subsequently lodges in (and usually blocks off) vessels at a distant site

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Prepared 5 April 2005