Pharma is just not wired to act in the public interest when the chips are down

It has been an interesting 24 hours for some of our goliaths of research funding. Starting with the positive, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) rolled out its new research strategy this morning: 'Beating Cancer Sooner.' Its bold new vision is to see 75% of people surviving the disease in the next twenty years. That's compared to the 50% … Continue reading Pharma is just not wired to act in the public interest when the chips are down

Thoughts on some of the latest health research stories in the media

I hope you have had a good Easter weekend. There have been three health research stories in the last week that have caught my attention.  Each story is significant in its own right.  But they also share a common theme around the importance of public participation in research. First up is the research published by King's College … Continue reading Thoughts on some of the latest health research stories in the media

Do I detect a slight fumble of the ball in today’s Commons Select Committee report on clinical trials?

Not for the first time I was awake at 3am this morning. Cup of tea in hand, watching American football.  It's amazing how those players keep the ball when so many other players are piling on top of them.  Rarely do you see the thing break free.  They must practice for hours.... The House of Commons … Continue reading Do I detect a slight fumble of the ball in today’s Commons Select Committee report on clinical trials?

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

At last! A patient-centred statement on the proposed EU Clinical Trials Regulation

First, a brief history of time in the Europe Union (EU). It goes slowly. That's it! For the last two years or so the European Commission has been consulting on plans to revise the European Clinical Trials Directive.  The Directive has been in force since 2001.  Researchers hate it.  To be fair so do many … Continue reading At last! A patient-centred statement on the proposed EU Clinical Trials Regulation

UKCMRI Task Gets Bigger

So the UKCMRI partners were in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee yesterday as were representatives of the local community.  Meanwhile the Science Minister, David Willetts, announced that the Government had agreed the business plan for the new centre as put forward by the Medical Research Council (MRC).   A good day all … Continue reading UKCMRI Task Gets Bigger

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 … Continue reading Pfizer…and innovation emergencies

Getting touchy over the information revolution

Over the holidays I caught a BBC Radio 4 item about the days of the touch typist.  It was one of those gems of broadcasting which looked through a narrow lens to tell the listener much about how the world has changed.  It also brought back many memories of my time as a messenger at the old … Continue reading Getting touchy over the information revolution

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

The not quite white paper on growth

UPDATE: You can find the Growth Review document published jointly by HM Treasury and the Department for Businesss here.  A quick skim through its pages suggests a collection of 'already known' initiatives with a short section at the back announcing a sector-by-sector consultation on barriers to growth.  From what is in the document, it is … Continue reading The not quite white paper on growth

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.  … Continue reading When good medicine is the casualty of hype and ignorance

Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Monday saw the Science Mnister, David Willetts, and Health Minister, Earl Howe, announce what are being called therapeutic capability clusters (research consortia)  at the ABPI/BIA conference in London.  PharmaLetter has an article on it and what I think is the formal news release can be found on Pharma Live. Don't be fooled by the PR … Continue reading Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Science at the Conservative Party Conference

Two down, one to go.  Here's science related 'matter' at the Conservative Party Conference which starts in Birmingham tomorrow. Birmingham University was of course the venue for the Science Minister, David Willett's, first speech after taking office.  I am looking forward to being one of the hosts when he joins us for a roundtable breakfast … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference

Science at the Labour Party Conference – Ed captures hearts but not science

In my potter around the conference exhibition this afternoon, I stumbled upon a stand for the 'People's Museum' here in Manchester which charts the struggles of the working class and houses the Labour Party's official archives. I wish I had time to pop along if only to check whether my knowledge of political history is … Continue reading Science at the Labour Party Conference – Ed captures hearts but not science