Of ethical standards and legal requirements –

In BMJ this week: Editor’s Choice Trevor Jackson, deputy editor, BMJ tjackson@bmj.comBMJ 2013;346:f777 – http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f777

A winter of discontent

“The disconnect between the drug industry’s proclamations—of the ‘highest ethical standards,’ of ‘following . . . all legal requirements,’ and providing ‘most accurate information available regarding prescription medicines’—and the reality of the conduct of big pharma is vast.” – describing the Personal View article by Peter C Gøtzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre

(Personal View: Big pharma often commits corporate crime, and this must be stopped. BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8462 (Published 14 December 2012)  Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8462 http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e8462).

In an outspoken attack he identifies drug company malfeasance as ‘illegal marketing’ misrepresentation of research results, hiding data on harms… He says the sums involved are staggering, and the consequences include, ” the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people and many billions in losses for our national economies.” (See also recent feature on this issue by Ed Silverman, BMJ 2013;346:f320.)

Jackson says ’Initiatives such as Regulation 658/2007 in the European Union—which empowers the EU Commission to impose fines on firms that violate EU legislation on medicines—and US Sunshine Act legislation—requiring drug companies to declare all payments and hospitality they give to doctors—may seem to herald a bright new day. But Gøtzsche’s argument suggests that the skies are still dark, as does a linked Editorial by Courtney Davis and John Abraham (doi:10.1136/bmj.f755).’


Staffordshire Hospital

Apparently, the Francis report was published too late for the BMJ to include detailed coverage in this week’s print issue, but all can be found on bmj.com.

Who knew what, and when, at Mid Staffs?

BMJ 2013;346:f726 (Published 6 February 2013)


Did the government ignore criticisms of the NHS in the run up to the Mid Staffs scandal?

BMJ 2013;346:f652 (Published 5 February 2013)


and Mid Staffs is evidence of all that is wrong with NHS management



About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Campaigns, clinical trials, patient safety, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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