Patient groups not only for sick people's interests – says Portuguese sociologist

Patient organisations are instrumental to social movements, but they can also be a vehicle for commercial interests, cautions Portuguese sociologist Noemia Lopes of the Instituto Superior de Ciencias de Saude Egas Moniz.

Drawing on several examples from Portugal, Lopes and others cite disclosure policies, donor-recipient interaction guidelines and maintaining a variety of income sources as strategies that could diffuse any dependency on corporate cash.

HAI hosts essay competition for students

Health Action International (HAI) Europe is sponsoring an essay competition open to residents in Europe who are in, or have completed, full-time highereducation in the last eight years. The essay should focus on one of the principle areas of HAI Europe’s policy work:

Rational use of medicines

Access to essential medicines

Democratisation of medicines’ policy

Winning entries will be selected by a panel of referees and announced at the end of June.

EU-India negotiations on FTA pose a serious threat to access to affordable medicines in the developing world

Negotiations on the intellectual property (IP) provisions in the EU–India free trade agreement, of which a round is taking place this week in Brussels, are cause for real concern as they could have a huge impact on Access to Medicines in India and across the developing world.

The EU’s ambitions for IP include provisions on data exclusivity and supplementary protection certificates that would significantly extend the length of the market monopoly for brand pharmaceutical products.

Patient Groups need dose of transparency

The European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s guidelines on conflicts of interest disclosure for patient and consumer groups are an essential tool to evaluate real or perceived conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry. Research from Corporate Europe Observatory has however found that the administration of the guidelines has failed to stop missing or misleading statements from several patient groups which have denied being sponsored by industry,

LAC-EU Alliance for Access to Medicines welcomes compulsory license by Ecuadorian Government

Quito, 21st April. Various experts and civil society organisation that came together in a meeting of the Latin American and Caribe and European Alliance for Access to Medicines, positively evaluated the recent measures taken by the Ecuadorian government, through the application of a compulsory license on Kaletra® , (lopinavi/ritonavir) medicines of the treatment of HIV/AIDs.

Roundtable on ACTA by TACD

On April 21, 2010, an official version of the consolidated negotiating text of the proposal Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was published. Next Wednesday, April 28, 2010, the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) will host a series of roundtable discussions about the new ACTA text at the US Department of commerce, Washington, DC from 9am to 3pm.

Generic prescribing policies 1 – ABPI 0

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has lost a legal battle against schemes promoted by Britain’s state health service that encourage doctors to prescribe cheaper medicines.

The European Court of Justice has decided that public authorities may offer financial incentives to induce doctors to prescribe cheaper medicinal products. And that such incentives are not to be considered advertising,