There are two chemotherapy drugs that were originally developed from yew trees:
- docetaxel (Taxotere) was first made from the needles of the European yew tree
- paclitaxel (Taxol) was made from the bark of the Pacific yew tree
Some UK firms used to collect yew tree clippings as part of the process of making the drugs. But they are no longer doing this. Both drugs can now be made synthetically in the laboratory.