European Medicines Agency: lack of transparency and conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest, possession of actions of pharmaceutical laboratories, spouses working for laboratories; The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been regularly criticized since 2009 for its lack of transparency and for its disastrous management of conflicts of interest.

As noted by an audit conducted in 2009 by the European Union and a recent article in the Prescrire journal, the EMA lacks transparency, and many of its employees are in very serious conflict of interest.

Indeed, several EMA employees found themselves responsible for authorizing the placing of medicines that are manufactured by laboratories for which they have worked in the past on the market.

Worse still, some had stock market shares in these companies, or their spouses worked for large laboratories. In 11 cases, there were serious conflicts of interest, but no action was taken despite the EMA regulation.

This audit was hidden by the EMA because the body refused to reveal its contents; it is only after two years of procedures by the “Formindep” association and by the intervention of the Mediator that the result of the audit was made public in 2012.

More recently, the case of the vaccine Gardasil showed the full extent of the opacity of the agency’s operation.

The northern branch of the Cochrane Network has complained about how the EMA handles warnings about the side effects of the vaccine. A 50-page report accompanies this complaint:

The final report which gives a reassuring and unanimous picture of the vaccine when there were major internal dissensions in the expert committee

Studies carried out by the president of one of the scientific groups financed by GSK or Sanofi, the companies that commercialize the vaccine

Total absence of verification and analysis of data provided by the laboratories

Clinical studies using placebo groups but with false placebos containing aluminum

This information is public only because there has been a complaint.

The EMA applies a privacy policy worthy of a spy agency:

“You are bound by a duty of confidentiality for life,” warns the preamble of the interim report to the experts, saying that it “includes the fact that there was a meeting in which you participated as well as its agenda, participants, all elements of discussion, its outcome, the products and companies concerned “. In addition, any documentation relating to the expertise “must be destroyed or stored in a safe place”

Shouldn’t an agency that is supposed to protect millions of people from the effects of drugs be as transparent as possible?

The Anti-Zionist Party notes the increase of cases of conflicts of interest in the world of the pharmaceutical industry, which has a real impact on medical expertise as well as the drug prescription volume.

The management of conflicts of interest is still not rigorous today and it is time that the authorities, who are supposed to protect us against these inherent excesses to the neoliberal system, look more seriously at these questions of general interest, because it concerns our health;

However, when we see that our health minister as well as her spouse are linked to major laboratories, we say that there is a way to go.

Obviously, the latter, like all the experts with links to this pharmaceutical industry, explained to us that all of this had no effect on decisions that remain very independent.

It is surprising then that popular mistrust of politicians at the service of money lobbies, who constantly take them for idiots?

A people that revolts because they have understood that the elected officials have not been in their service for a long time, and who know that the hand (labs) that gives is still above the hand (experts and officials of health) that receives.

 The Anti- Zionist Party clearly opposes the pervasive influence of the economic interests of the health sector on patients, doctors, medical students or public decision-makers.

 It is time to commit to a medicine based on the best scientific evidence and the interest of the patient, denouncing all conflicts of interest that eat away at the health world to the detriment of citizens ,and to demand total transparency as well as the independence of all medical regulatory bodies such as the EMA or the AFSSAPS (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products).