Drug Testing overview (AS Biology Unit 2 Topic 4 Edexcel)

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  1. "Compare historic drug testing with contemporary drug testing protocols, eg William Withering’s digitalis soup; double blind trials; placebo; three-phased testing." (spec point 2.4.12)

Historic Drug Testing

William Withering's digitalis soup didn't go down too well. Here's the procedure that he followed and why it wasn't so good:
(you will need to know this as a comparison question may ask what is the difference between old and new drug testing procedures)

  • Tested on people
    => patients with the disease
    => dosage was estimated
    => many side effects were shown
  • Trial and error
    => many people were poisoned because the dosage given was too high!
    => however, others given too low a dosage experienced no benefit whatsoever.. 

Drug testing today


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