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More data to be released on Tamiflu; pharma forced to hand over trial data to doctors; and patients not getting new drugs

Friday, 23 November 2012

MORE DATA TO BE RELEASED ON TAMIFLU

"Roche pledges to release more data on Tamiflu," according to a Financial Times headline on Friday. (p16)

The business daily says the Swiss group has made a promise to release more data to allow third parties to examine the efficacy and safety of the flu antiviral. It will hold talks with external experts including the academic Cochrane Collaboration which had raised concerns over the value of the drug, the FT continues.

The company tells the paper that it "plans to set up a multi-party advisory board."

PHARMA FORCED TO HAND OVER TRIAL DATA TO DOCTORS

"Drug companies may be forced to hand doctors data on medicine trials," according to The Daily Telegraph (p19).

Members of parliament are to decide whether pharma companies will be forced to share trial data within the next year, the chairman of the MP's health committee said. Stephen Dorrell said this at a conference, adding the issue was "pretty close to the top of the list" of priorities for the health committee.

The paper says pharma companies are not under any obligation to release full data from trials, which leads critics to say doctors may be making the wrong prescribing decisions. The paper also notes the British Medical Journal is leading the "open data" campaign designed to ensure, "appropriate and necessary independent scrutiny" of trial data.

PATIENTS NOT GETTING NEW DRUGS

The Telegraph says patients are failing to get the latest medicines, according to a claim from pharmaceutical companies.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry made the claim based on an IMS Health report which examined why some patients in England do not receive recommended treatments, the Telegraph says.

IMS includes: "funding confusion", lack of diagnostic services and "differing interpretations" of NICE guidance in its list of reasons for the poor access, the paper continues.

The modest story concludes with four paragraphs of quotes from ABPI head, Stephen Whitehead who uses words like "frustrating" to describe the failure of some to understand that without medicines "modern healthcare as we know it simply would not exist."

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