Two weeks after publishing HAI Europe’s baseline survey of patient and consumer groups’ financial disclosure, the findings and conclusions have been reported in media based in at least three European countries, including the British Medical Journal, the Dutch newspaper Trouw, Swedish ‘Pharmaceutical World’ gazette Lakemedels Varlden, and the international magazine SCRIP, among others.
Broadcast media in the Netherlands widely reported on the results. Dutch journalist Joop Bouma linked the survey results to the national situation in which some patient organisations in dialogue with the drug regulatory authority (CBG) are financed by the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, the Dutch Socialist Party has called for a thorough investigation of patient groups receiving corporate sponsorship and their compliance with the existing code of conduct.
We haven’t recieved an official comment from the EMA to date, although their opinion on the survey conclusions is reported in various news articles. We hope to discuss the recommendations in the research article at the meeting of all patient and consumer organisations eligible to work with the EMA in November 2010.