Jim Thomson and the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines

The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) has its brand new shiny website now… have a look here.

It’s an interesting read – says Jim: “…The Alliance has been formed by a cross-section of European patient safety stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds…”

I think more detail is in order, Jim – who were the founders and who are the funders?

Elsewhere on the website Jim tells us (or at least the person who wrote the copy at Medicom Group tells us):

“The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines includes members and supporters from both independent and industry backgrounds, and we make sure there are never more funding partners than non-funding partners.

The actions of the EAASM are approved by the executive board which consists of seven members: four independent and three pharmaceutical industry representatives.”

Phew – that makes me feel better…

… but hold on now, who might the ‘independent’ members be, I wonder? I suppose if Jim’s past initiatives are anything to go they might include, perhaps, Amelia Mustapha, or maybe Rodney Elgie, or Neil Bindemann, perhaps Dr Chris Manning or maybe Dave Titcomb?

However, I’m sure it’ll be none of the above – but I think we should know who the independent members are – don’t you?

I have to admit, that Jim and I have a bit of a history – he’d taken exception to a previous post of mine about another of his initiatives (The Centre for Mental Health) and made some comments to put me right “…Nor do I work for Innervate. I did for a short time, while I was trying to establish the Centre for Mental Health. Oh, and on that subject, you’ll be delighted to learn that the Centre has received penny-not-a-one from GSK…”

True – very true Jim – but why, oh why, neglect to mention the £15,000 of funding that came from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim in 2006 for the Centre… (scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page)

And why does the EAASM website have to go live with a page that says:

“Additional information will be posted soon, including for example:
• list of sponsoring companies
• funding policy”
• how to become a member/supporter
• operating prinicples”

What’s the problem – why can’t we have a list of funders/sponsoring companies NOW… what’s the big secret?

With Jim, I’ve learnt that what he doesn’t say can be more important than what he does say. I think there are a lot of questions to be answered and as you read about these people and organisations just remember Jim’s own words “…ask yourself one question… What does this person, or this organisation, have to gain from taking this position?”

So – the question is – sixth form conspiracy theory or just more big pharma astroturfing… ?


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