At last – we find out a little more about the EAASM – and I have to say it’s all most confusing.
From their website we learn:
The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) is a new pan-European patient safety initiative campaigning for the exclusion of counterfeit and substandard medicines from the supply chain.
The EAASM is an independent, cross-sector voice representing European patients’ rights to access safe medicines. Raising public awareness of the issues and addressing the shortcomings of current legislation and enforcement forms a key part of the activities of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines.
Combating counterfeit medicines requires the coordinated effort of all the various public and private stakeholders who are affected and are competent in addressing the different aspects of the problem. Wherever this problem is discussed, the call has been for co-ordination and collaboration. The EAASM aims to make that happen.
That’s what they say. What they actually do is not quite the same.
The first major report from the ‘Alliance’ was the Harper report, an expensive tome (€595/£410) entitled European patient safety and Parallel Pharmaceutical Trade – a potential public health disaster?
It’s a wonderful piece of black propaganda which claims that parallel pharmaceutical trade (PPT) represents “a clear and present danger to the safety of every European patient”. In the report, which has been presented to the European Parliament, author Jonathan Harper alleges that parallel traders’ practice of repacking and relabelling medicines undermines supply chain security, and says there is evidence of PPT being an entry point of counterfeit medicines in to the legitimate supply chain.
So there you have it – in one mighty leap the connection has been made between illegal counterfeit medicines and the wholly legal parallel pharmaceutical trade. Very handy indeed, as the pharmaceutical industry does not like losing profits to the parallel trade. The cynical amongst you might think that the EAASM only link the parallel trade with counterfeit drugs because the EAASM has actually been set up with pharmaceutical money in order to play its part to tarnish a legitimate and safe practice (parallel trading) that poses competition to the major pharmaceutical industries.
So who controls the EAASM?
Do you know, we have no idea… all we know is that “The actions of the EAASM are approved by the executive board which consists of seven members: four independent and three pharmaceutical industry representatives. They ensure that the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines remains focused on its stated objectives. ”
No more than that… no names, no details – except for one name – Jim Thomson.
For more about Jim and his previous good works please read on:
The EAASM is funded by Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly, Pfizer and Wyeth.