Conference of Scottish Pharmacists, Aviemore, 21 November 1982.

The aim is to do two things. First, to put the experience with benoxaprofen into a broader and cooler perspective. Secondly, to spell out a theoretical framework from which to develop a more rational attitude towards “adverse reactions” in the future.

Historically, two events stand out in relation to adverse reactions to medicines. The first was the thalidomide tragedy in 1961, and the second was with practolol in the mid-1970s. It has been suggested that benoxaprofen in 1982 represents a third event in this sequence. Although no parallel exists between the circumstances of these cases, the contrast between the three experiences highlights the development of attitudes towards adverse reactions over the past 20 years.