Ireland has passed an emergency drug law to close legal loophole which meant it was legal to possess drugs such as ecstasy.
The Irish parliament's passed an emergency law after other drugs in the same class including ketamine and crystal meth became legal on Tuesday after a court challenge. The new legislation was officially be signed into law this afternoon, and comes into force at midnight
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The first mobile drug-testing kit has been approved by the government as part of a crackdown on drug driving.
Called Drugwipe, it is the first portable device that can detect the presence of cannabis and cocaine, two of the most common substances used by drug drivers, by analysing a small quantity of saliva.
Results are indicated by the appearance of lines on the device - similar to a pregnancy test - within eight minutes.
Following a positive reading, the police will take the individual to the police station for a blood sample, which will be used in any subsequent prosecution.
The penalty under the new drug offence will be 12 months disqualification, a fine up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison or both.
The policing minister has said new plans to test drivers for drugs will "drive this menace off the road".
This is something that has plagued society for far too long.
People will have exactly the same view of drug-driving as they do of drink-driving: it is an abhorrent thing to do.
Not only do you put your own life at risk, but you put innocent people's lives at risk.
We will drive this menace off the road.
The Christmas and New Year holiday season will see drivers stopped by police and tested for drugs by the side of the road in a war on drug-driving.
The Telegraph has reported that the Home Office approved roadside testing kits that will analyse samples of saliva instantly to detect illegal substances as well as so-called "legal highs".
It said that police officers will also use the kits to catch drivers who have taken prescription medicines like strong painkillers, sleeping pills and drugs to treat anxiety, that can hinder concentration on the road.
It has been reported that ministers will order police to carry the "drugalyser" kits alongside conventional "breathalysers", which test motorists for alcohol consumption.
Officials said the review would examine how precision medicine and digital health technology could enable new products to be brought from the laboratory "as quickly and safely possible".
"This will transform the landscape of drug development from the 20th-century model to a world century model to a world in which the NHS becomes a partner in innovative testing, proving and adopting new drugs and devices in research studies with real patients," Mr Freeman told The Times.
"For too long NHS patients have seen drugs and innovations developed in the UK but not adopted here in our NHS.
"We are determined to unlock the power of our NHS to be a test-bed for the 21st-century medical innovations we all need, getting NHS patients faster access, reducing the cost of drug development and boosting our life science sector."
Ministers are promising to cut years off the time it takes for National Health Service patients to receive life-saving new drugs.
The Government is launching a review looking into a radical overhaul of the way that promising new drugs are tested and cleared for approval.
Life sciences minister George Freeman said unlocking the power of the NHS to be a "test-bed" for new medical innovations could dramatically reduce the time it takes for patients to gain access to new treatments.
The Department of Health said a fresh approach was being made possible by ground-breaking developments in genomics and digital technology.
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A batch of so-called smart drugs worth £200,000 - including substances never tested on humans - has been found in the largest seizure of apparent intelligence-enhancing drugs in the UK.
Around 20,000 units of 13 different "cognitive enhancers" were taken in the raid on a lock-up in the Midlands after a tip off via Norwegian customs.
The drugs have been targeted at students because they aid concentration and ward off sleep.
A spokesperson for the medicines regulator that carried out the raid confirmed a man had been cautioned. He added:
This is a recent and very worrying trend. The idea that people are willing to put their overall health at risk in order to attempt to get an intellectual edge over others is deeply troubling.
While it would be legal to possess the seized drugs, it is illegal to sell or supply prescription-only or unlicensed medicines.
Author Stephen Fry has said he regrets his 'pathetic' 15-year addiction to cocaine after writing about it in his new autobiography.Read the full story ›