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Prescrire’s proposals for France’s national conference on medicines policy

Prescrire has accepted an invitation from the French government to participate in a national conference on medicines policy, organised in the wake of the Mediator scandal. By revealing numerous malfunctions in the medicines chain, the scandal over the weight-loss drug has sparked a crisis of confidence between patients and the healthcare professions, one that requires everyone's attention and energy.

Prescrire’s 57 proposals are available at


In the wake of France's Mediator scandal, Prescrire offers 57 proposals on how to get medicines policy back on course.

The public health disaster caused in France by Mediator (benfluorex) demonstrated just how inadequate the regulation of the market for medicines is, and how serious the human consequences.

Prescrire has proposed a series of measures to protect the public from any more drugs like Mediator, and more generally to get medicines policy back on course, with priority given to patients' health needs and to public health.

These recommendations are based on Prescrire’s experience and analysis over the past 30 years, as expressed in a large number of articles published in our French and English editions. They share many of the recommendations made in the French Senate report written by Ms. Hermange and Ms. Payet (2006) and the National Assembly report by Ms. Lemorton (2008).

Prescrire’s proposals have been drawn up in the context of the “Assises du medicament”. This national conference on medicines policy has been convened to discuss what changes ought to be made in light of the multiple failures of the system observed in the Mediator disaster.

Prescrire’s proposals to France’s national conference on medicines policy: patients' interests and public health should come first

More stringent criteria for marketing authorisation

> Proposals 1-3

Public financing for continuing education and information about medicines

> Proposal 4

Strong expertise on the part of regulatory agencies and other authorities dealing with medicines

> Proposals 5-10

Widespread transparency amongst agencies and other authorities dealing with medicines

> Proposals 11-19

Robust, proactive pharmacovigilance

> Proposals 20-33

Initial training of healthcare professionals free from industry influence

> Proposals 34-40

Continuing education of healthcare professionals truly devoted to improving practices

> Proposals 41-45

Quality information for the general public, to foster joint decision-making by patients and healthcare professionals

> Proposals 46-52

Professional practices first and foremost in the interest of patients

> Proposals 53-57

More details of the proposals is available at


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