The truth, the whole truth and nothing but….pharma

Here is a gripping report from this week’s ‘Adweek’ (based in New York) about the new marketing strategies being used by pharmaceutical companies. Don’t be put off by the reference to ‘Obamacare.’ The story is equally applicable to the United Kingdom.  For it is essentially a tale about how disease is being re-packaged. Patient data is the new […]

An unleaked memo on sorry pharma and the silly season

Or should that be silly pharma…I don’t know. Yes, our colleagues from pharma have stolen the march on everyone else and got the silly season off to a grand old start. I am referring, of course, to the leaked memo from the European and American pharma trade associations dutifully covered by Ian Semple at The […]

Patient View Report: Pharma industry’s lack of transparency harming reputation with patients

Earlier this week Patient View published the results of its annual tracker of the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation among patient groups. The latest study surveyed 600 patient groups (72% of them from Europe). As well as asking patient groups to rank 29 pharmaceutical companies by various indices (such as whether their practices were patient-centred) – Lundbeck […]

Current Controlled Trials (CCT) appoints new advisory board

Current Controlled Trials (CCT), which aims ‘to increase the availability, and promote the exchange, of information about ongoing randomised controlled trials worldwide,’ has appointed a new advisory board to help it in its work.  Other than yours truly, the Board includes Ben Goldacre and Paul Wicks (PatientsLikeMe) among its members, and is drawing on international […]

Behavioural matters: pharma could learn its way out of its ‘slump’ by working more closely with patients

I thought this short piece by David Shaywitz in US Forbes Magazine was terrific. David examines three problems identified by the pharmaceutical industry as holding them back, and proposes solutions to each.  The first seems to follow on neatly from my blog on Saturday which looked at the venture philanthropy tactics being pursued by charities to […]

Spirit of ad-venture shown by charities in funding drug research or a sign of desperate times?

From The Economist in New York, a short but interesting piece on the growing collaboration between charities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the US to bring new drugs to market.  More specifically it looks at the ‘venture philanthropy’ model being adopted by charities there to support clinical trials.  I’m not quite sure I’d characterise it as […]

European patient group directory has some way to go before showing full story on pharma funding

My good colleagues at Cancer52 (the rare cancers coalition) sent me this, the third edition of the Burson-Marsteller directory of patient groups. On a purely practical level this tome is vital in helping to find your way round the various patient groups working on the European stage. Note the introduction by the EU Health Commissioner, […]

Pfizer…and innovation emergencies

The news that Pfizer is to close its R&D facility in Sandwich in Kent has shaken us from our sleepy winter hollows. I’ve been watching the reactions and comments come over the wires as I am sure you have.  This is clearly a company going through considerable transition as it tries to change with the […]

An evening of industry – how the pharma business model is changing

So it’s 10pm and I’m busy here putting the final touches to the AMRC/INVOLVE report of the workshop we held in November which drew together patient views on health research regulation.  This was at the invitation of the Academy of Medical Sciences as part of their review of regulation and governance but – and all […]

When good medicine is the casualty of hype and ignorance

I have just returned from the Financial Times’ offices, where I was the guest for their regular science podcast hosted by Clive Cookson and Andrew Jack (it will appear here later today).  The theme of the discussion was ‘Selling Sickness.’  Andrew was reporting on a recent conference of the same name that took place last month in Holland.  […]

Time to open up about industry

Every so often a story and resulting furore crops up in the media about charities, patient groups and their closeneness to industry and, in particular, pharmaceutical companies.   Journalists and the public will quite rightly ask: is it in the public interest?  I can well remember my first encounter with big pharma in my early days […]

Charities and the media

Today I hotfooted it (literally in the 30c+ heat!) to the World Conference for Science Journalists (WCSJ) taking place at Central Hall in London.  I was taking part in a debate on the question: ‘Is the growing influence of PR on science journalism in the public interest?’ The other speakers included Ben Goldacre from the […]