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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19243

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Watson R
Drug companies may provide information directly to EU patients but under strict conditions
BMJ 2010 Nov 30; 341:
http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6883.extract


Abstract:

Drug companies will be able to provide information to the public on prescription drugs but only under strict conditions, according to draft legislation overwhelmingly adopted by the European parliament on 24 November.

The new measures would enable patients in European Union countries to receive data on a drug’s characteristics and the disease or condition for which it is designed. Companies would be allowed to provide basic non-promotional information such as product characteristics in package leaflets and an accessible version of a drug’s assessment report. Patients would be able to receive more specific answers on request. All information would require prior authorisation from national authorities. …

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.