Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

HSC attacks pharma and MHRA

The long awaited HSC report accuses pharma of being over promotional and the MHRA of being too lax in their regulation.

Pharma firms are over-zealously promoting their medicines for wider use just for the sake of profits, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is operating a ìlaxî regime, according to a damning report by the House of Commons health select committee.

ìLike any industry, drug companies need effective discipline and regulation, and these have been lacking,î said committee chairman David Hinchliffe.

The report called for a ìfundamental reviewî of the UK drug regulator MHRA, which had ìfailed to adequately scrutinise licensing dataî and whose post-marketing surveillance was ìinadequateî.

ìThe organisation has been too close to the industry,î the report said. ìWe are concerned that a rather lax regime is exacerbated by the MHRA's need to compete with other European regulators for licence application business.î

The group of MPs warned that ìthe aggressive promotion of medicines shortly after launch, the sheer volume of information that is received by prescribers and the `promotional hospitality masquerading as education' all contribute to the inappropriate prescription of medicines.î

The committee also said that pharma companies exercised too much control over the clinical trial process, sometimes designing trials to show a drug in the best possible light while failing to indicate the medicine's true effects on health outcomes relevant to the patient.

Calling for more restrictions on promotional material sent to doctors as well as better reporting of side-effects by doctors and patients, the panel said better information on medicines had to be made available.

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry director general Dr Richard Barker said that while the HSC had put forward a number of constructive proposals, any moves to limit the promotion of drugs would be a step backwards.

ìIt is critically important to patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry that the public have trust in, and benefit from, advances in medicines,î he said.

Health minister Lord Warner said the government would consider the proposals and respond ìin due courseî.

The HSC investigation into the pharma industry's influence on drug development, research and promotion began in June 2004. The panel has heard testimony from drug companies, regulators, journalists and university researchers.

The full 126 page report can be downloaded here

30th September 2008

Share

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
JPA Health Communications

JPA Health is an award-winning public relations, marketing and advocacy firm known for sharing our clients’ commitment to making people...

Latest intelligence

Empowered patients: shaking the foundations of healthcare
Precision medicine represents a new paradigm in healthcare.This new approach to treating and preventing disease views the patient holistically, analysing their genes, environment and lifestyle, and using this information to...
A uniquely English genomic medicine service
The UK National Health Service is developing one standardised approach to embedding precision medicine across the whole of England. Blue Latitude Health speaks to Dr Tom Fowler, Deputy Chief Scientist...
Blended Intelligence
Data is the most valued commodity of the modern world. For P&P it's all about the application....

Infographics