Committee on Safety of Medicines

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The Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) was an independent advisory committee that advised the UK Licensing Authority on the quality, efficacy and safety of medicines.

Following the thalidomide tragedy of 1957 to 1961, in 1963 the government asked Sir Derrick Dunlop to set up a committee to investigate the control and introduction of new medicines in the United Kingdom. In June 1963 the Committee on Safety of Drugs (CSD) was established. As a result of the subsequent report to the Department of Health, which reinforced the need for specially trained doctors in the pharmaceutical industry and academic departments of medicine, Dunlop became the first chairman of the Committee. In 1970, the CSD was replaced by the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). The CSM was one of the advisory committees established by the Medicines Act 1968.[1]

It was replaced on 30 October 2005 by the Commission on Human Medicines which combines the functions of both the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Medicines Commission.


  • The first chairperson of the CSD was Sir Derek Dunlop.[2]
  • The first chairperson of the CSM was Sir Eric Scowan.[2]
  • 1980-1986. Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg
  • 1987-1992. Professor Sir William Asscher, previously chair of the Committee on the Review of Medicines[3]
  • 1993-1998. Professor Sir Michael Rawlins
  • 1999-2005. Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge

For later chairs see the Commission on Human Medicines at

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History and Aims of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine". Royal College of Physicians. Archived from the original on 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  2. ^ a b Lesser, Frank (4 December 1980). "How we keep unsafe drugs off the market". New Scientist: 634. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ Daphne Christie; Tilli Tansey; Lois Reynolds, eds. (1998), Making the Human Body Transparent: The Impact of NMR and MRI; Research in General Practice; Drugs in Psychiatric Practice; The MRC Common Cold Unit, Wellcome Witnesses to Contemporary Medicine, History of Modern Biomedicine Research GroupWikidata Q29581621