* Women who claim to have suffered ill effects after having silicone breast implants have started a mass legal action against the manufacturers in Michigan, USA. The women claim that the dangers of the implants were known as long ago as 1975, but the information was suppressed. All 100,000 British women who had implants are to be traced and placed on a register at the Wessex Centre for Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, the Department of Health has announced. BMJ, 26 June 1993.
* US drug companies are failing to warn patients in the third world of the dangers of their products, according to a study by the American Office of Technology. The Lancet, 5 June 1993.
* The European Commission is investigating whether drugs companies are charging too much for new medicines. EC social affairs commissioner Padraig Flynn says some companies are abusing what is effectively a monopoly for new drugs. BMJ, 5 June 1993.
* Patients want clearer, easier to understand information about drugs and treatment, according to a Belgian study conducted at the request of the European Commission. Most patients do not understand terms like "indications" and "contraindications" and dislike the scientific leaflets they are usually given. The researchers call for leaflets to have six main headings, such as: "What precautions should be taken?", and "When should [the drug] not be used." They also recommend that leaflets should not be in minuscule, unreadable type, but be printed in the same type size as that used by most European newspapers. The Lancet, 5 June 1993.