UK drug companies trying to subvert independent appraisal processes

 
Published: Tuesday 31 October 2006

Drugs The uk

Multinational drug companies have been lobbying with ministers in the uk in an attempt to subvert the independent appraisal process and get their expensive new medicines approved for large-scale use in the country's National Health Scheme (nhs), according to the daily, The Guardian.

Documents obtained by The Guardian under the uk's Freedom of Information legislation reveal that the world's biggest drug company, Pfizer, warned ministers that it could take its business elsewhere. The ministers later agreed to a special meeting where six companies could lobby for their drugs for Alzheimer's disease.

Pressure was brought to bear on ministers by another company, Johnson & Johnson, over its bone cancer drug Velcade, rejected by the country's medical regulatory authority for use in the nhs. A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said the company was not trying to "unduly influence" nhs but it was legitimate to seek to persuade ministers to speed up the appraisal of Velcade. The company did not want to comment on its lobbying over Alzheimer's drugs.

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