Open Medicine EU

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

It’s Hard to be Good

To get approval for a new medicine it is necessary to provide evidence that the medicine works – which usually means showing that it is better than a placebo. It is not usually necessary to provide comparative data showing how the new medicine measures up against an existing medicine or treatment. Good comparative data helps… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

My summer holidays are over and now I’m back to my normal retirement… My friends at Health Action International have asked me to moderate a session at their conference on conflicts of interest in medicine on 24th September in Cork (“Liege” in French?) so, apart from meeting interesting people and hearing interesting things, I have… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

Holidays!!

I am on holidays during July and much of August, and probably will not be posting during that time, although I will occasionally check for comments, if any. I hope to resume blogging during August. Best wishes, Jim

Posted by Jim Murray

I will deal with the issues of science and patients later but this is a brief summary of some of the legal consequences to date of the J&J bribery case in Greece, Poland and Romania, described in my previous post. In the settlement with the US Department of Justice the company admitted that its subsidiaries,… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

The US Securities and Exchange Commission reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson on 11th April over charges of bribing doctors and public hospital adminstrators in Greece, Poland and Romania. The SEC complaint can be read here and includes the following: “Since at least 1998 and continuing to early 2006, J&J’s subsidiaries, employees and agents… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

The European Medicines Agency is in difficulty, perhaps even in crisis. It is time for DG Sanco to take action. The board has been unable to approve either of the two short-listed candidates for Executive Director and the European Parliament has refused to discharge the agency’s accounts for 2009. The Parliament is one element of… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

In a previous post , I commented on the fact that the former Executive Director joined a number of industry-based groups immediately after leaving the European Medicines Agency. On 21st March, the EMA board gave its approval to the former director’s activities, and imposed some limits for the next two years, including “prohibitions on taking… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

Medicines are sometimes withdrawn from the market or heavily restricted in their use, when the risks are judged to outweigh the potential benefits. Is this just a case of bad luck or an unavoidable risk when it happens, or is it something more? According to a fascinating article in the American Journal of Public Health… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray

The European Commission has just launched a public consultation on the Green Paper for the next round of funding for research and innovation after 2013. (In the current programme, 2007-2013, the EU is spending some €143bn in this area.) Health and aging is seen as one of the focal points of the next programme. Advocates… » read more

Posted by Jim Murray