english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2016 > Council of Europe: put patients' health before that of drug companies

Spotlight: Archives

Every month, the subjects in Prescrire’s Spotlight.

2016 : 1 | 30 | 60

Council of Europe: put patients' health before that of drug companies

The Council of Europe defends the primacy of public health over industrial interests.

The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe is a body that brings together 47 European countries. Its role is “advisory” and as such it issues recommendations to the member states. On 29 September 2015, its Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution on public health and the interests of the pharmaceutical industry.

According to the Council of Europe, interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and other health sector stakeholders raise questions as to their possible negative effects. These interactions are likely to create conflicts of interest, to influence the knowledge and behaviour of the players involved, and result in biased decisions.

In recent years, in spite of the increase in the number of new medicines placed on the market, there have been very few that present a real therapeutic benefit, satisfying real health needs.

To resolve the various problems identified, the Council of Europe proposes that the curriculum for health care professionals should incorporate specific, mandatory training to foster awareness of the influence of pharmaceutical promotion and how to respond, and that their training should be financed from the public purse.

It also calls on the World Health Organization to come up with alternatives to the present model of pharmaceutical innovation based on patents.

©Prescrire 1 September 2016

"The Council of Europe upholds the primacy of public health interests over industry interests" Prescrire Int 2016; 25 (174): 221-222. (Pdf, free).

Download the full review.
Pdf, free