Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Advocating for Patients and/or Drugs

PharmaGossip has an interesting story this morning. Teaser below…

Britain's chief drug regulator has accused Big Pharma of covert and distasteful tactics in funding patient groups that campaign for wider use of the medicines they manufacture.

Sir Michael Rawlins, chairman of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which decides which drugs are provided by the NHS, warned that the industry’s sponsorship of health charities could lead to excessive pressure and unfair rulings about which medicines were made available.

“It is important everybody is aware that a particular patient organisation gets money from the pharmaceutical industry and that is not easy to find out at the moment,” Rawlins said. “The patient group may not just receive money: the pharmaceutical company may be providing help and resources, such as the use of their PR manager.”

Rawlins added: “In the long term it will do the patient organisations an immense amount of damage and the confidence in their neutrality will dissipate. . . It certainly is distasteful.”

Link to full story here.

Link to more reading on the relationship between patient advocacy groups and drug companies here and here.


insider said...

Thanks. You are doing a great job.

If you've time I'd appreciate your thoughts on the SSRI story by Evie Pringle I've just posted.

I've met David Healy and I view him as a man of honour.

CL Psych said...

I've read through Pringle's story and will comment in more detail sometime in the near future. To briefly summarize, much of what she says rings true but there are some issues that raise a bit of trouble with some statements made within the article.

I am likewise a fan of Healy's work.