Open Medicine EU

Archives for EU Priorities

Nobody has a greater interest in access to clinical trial data than patients. Patients are exposed to the possibility of some risk, small it is hoped, when they enroll in a clinical trial and yet the sponsoring company owns the trial data and decides when, how, whether and to what extent the results are published.… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

I covered previously the written question from Nessa Childers MEP arising from the extensive bribery of surgeons in Greece some years ago – see my earlier post here. The Commission has now given an answer, and it is bizarre. While the bribery was going on, certain orthopedic devices were twice as expensive in Greece compared… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

I was irritated recently when I went to a presentation here in Brussels of a survey on off-label prescribing by the Irish Patients Association (IPA). I don’t blame the IPA for this – they presented a perfectly valid study, but I felt the meeting overall was serving another purpose or agenda. The survey, and the… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

MEDICAL DEVICES

In some previous posts, here and here, I described how (prior to 2006) orthopaedic surgeons in Greece were paid to prescribe particular medical devices such as knee and hip replacements. The bribery was first uncovered under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US. This was followed by action by the UK Serious Fraud Office… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

I’ve been looking at DG Sanco’s plans for medicines for 2012, and I am disappointed. Two years ago, DG Sanco took over the medicines dossier in the European Commission from DG Enterprise. Many people, myself included, had argued for years for such a transfer – to separate responsibility for medicines from responsibility for promoting the… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

I heard a powerful case recently for access to all clinical trial results. The case was made by Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, leader of the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration in Copenhagen and one of those whose complaint to the European Ombudsman has led to major improvements in transparency in the European Medicines Agency. The occasion was… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

I’ve been looking more closely at the bribery of doctors and health care officials in Greece. My sources are mainly UK court documents, and documents released by UK Serious Fraud Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in the US. The bribery lasted for about eight years from 1998 onwards.… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

The UK is not the only country where opinions on medicines can be challenged in court. In France, Astellas Pharma, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company has filed a lawsuit in Paris against the independent French medical journal, Prescrire, for publishing unfavorable comments about their anti-eczema ointment, tacrolimus (brand name – Protopic). The case arises from… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray