Patients have long been working their way upstream in drug research. At last they are up the creek with a paddle. #publicinvolvement #patient-centricity

Patients and carers will tell you that all that is good or bad about health research can usually be traced to its source. That place where the idea is first formed by scientists. Eureka moment it might be, they will say, but having patients and carers involved from the beginning can save embarrassment for all … Continue reading Patients have long been working their way upstream in drug research. At last they are up the creek with a paddle. #publicinvolvement #patient-centricity

Excellent new guidance published to help charities and pharma work together with the public’s trust @ABPI_UK @NVTweeting

It's high time we got over it. Pretending it doesn't go on is foolish. Suspecting the worst every time they come near to one another is energy-sapping. No one is trying to deny history. But we are in danger of denying others a future if we continue to stand in their way. I mean, of … Continue reading Excellent new guidance published to help charities and pharma work together with the public’s trust @ABPI_UK @NVTweeting

Even pharma must understand the perils of Schwanning about in a storm

On New Year's Eve I took my family up 'The Shard,' London's newest and tallest landmark.  As we looked Eastwards a squall was readying itself over the North Downs; the latest in a succession of storms to batter our shores over the past few weeks.  Low-flying clouds threatened to swallow us whole.  The wind roared around … Continue reading Even pharma must understand the perils of Schwanning about in a storm

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

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 … Continue reading An unleaked memo on sorry pharma and the silly season

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

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

International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council's Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials - well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research … Continue reading International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing

Tomorrow is Budget day.  Having just finished AMRC's own budget and business plan for 2011-2012 all I can say is: George you know where I am if you want to crunch some last minute numbers? The Financial Times is reporting today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce a £100million cash injection for capital … Continue reading Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing

mICRA, PROSPERO, Beddington and Bell

Announcements are like buses.  There are none for what seem like days and then several come all at once.  My job is to make sure you get on the right one... NIHR has several announcements out today which AMRC and its members have had some involvement or interest in.  The first is the launch of the new … Continue reading mICRA, PROSPERO, Beddington and Bell

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

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

Public, private and charitable research: the spillover effect

RAND Europe and the Office of Health Economics (OHE) last week published this rather fascinating occasional paper from a seminar in May.  It examines the spillovers (wider benefits) from biomedical and health research and seems highly salient given what is going on.  I thought some of the diagrams were helpful in visualising the multilying effect of … Continue reading Public, private and charitable research: the spillover effect

Science at the Conservative Party Conference – it ain't over until it's over

'So we will give priority to spending that supports growth in our economy. That means investment in the transport schemes, the medical research and the communications networks that deliver the greatest economic benefit.' George Osborne, 4 October 2010 Welcome, good, important? Yes. Victory, game over? Of course not. A noticeable frisson went through the room … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference – it ain't over until it's over