Finnegan's Take

Archives for medicines

Amid resignations, political spats and question marks over its budget, there’s a new broom at the EU’s powerful medicines authority Pity Guido Rasi. Not for his €200 salary, the generous perks or the swanky Canary Wharf offices, but for the unenviable task of turning around the ailing European Medicines Agency. He takes the helm at… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Doctors from across Europe are gathering in Athens on Saturday for an emergency meeting amid fears that the Greek health system is going into meltdown. The hastily-arranged medical summit, called by the Medical Association of Athens, is due to discuss plans for a new European Medical Network through which doctors could support the ailing health… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Three years after it was proposed the EU Information to Patients Directive is in limbo European health ministers have poured cold water on a long-standing EU proposal to allow pharmaceutical companies to provide information on medicines directly to patients. Ministers say the Information to Patients Directive could increase red tape for government agencies and companies… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Chronic drug shortages in Greece have left thousands of patients without medicines and paralysed the drug supply chain. The impact of the ongoing financial crisis in Europe is having a deep impact on patients – and that’s before the possible return of the Drachma which could at least double the relative cost of imported medicines.… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

A troubling thought: are the pro-innovation policy wonks talking to the cost-containment pencil pushers? Doing the rounds of innovation conferences in Brussels, it’s clear that a huge section of the EU’s political and industry machinery is convinced we need to be more innovative. The logic will be familiar to most: we can’t compete with Asia’s… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Want to buy cheap drugs?

Sale of the century: EU governments are selling off swine flu vaccines Having grossly overestimated the demand for vaccines against the once-dreaded H1N1 virus, health ministers across Western Europe are rushing to flog spare flu drugs in a mass medicines January sale. France ordered 94 million doses of the new flu vaccine and vaccinated just… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Shock! Horror! NGOs have gotten their way despite fierce resistance from the pharma industry Pharmaceutical policy will move to the European Commission’s health and consumer wing, DG Sanco, as part of a shake-up of responsibilities by President Barroso. This means control of medicines, which rested with DG Entrprise & Industry, is now under the wing… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

A new phenomenon is sweeping the Internet like a virus – they call it Spamiflu Tamiflu has now overtaken Viagra as the drug most frequently advertised in spam emails. Regulators fear criminals are cashing in on public anxiety over swine flu, with fake medicines and unproven ‘cures’ being sold online. Products claiming to contain Tamiflu… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Sitting listening to the EU’s enterprise commissioner holding forth at the European Parliament’s environmental committee on the subject of regulating medicines, I was prompted to wonder how the status of health policy could be so low. Swine flu, counterfeit drugs, and our ageing population are supposed to be priorities but health is an afterthought. The… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan