Jim Thomson rears his ugly head again…

As a patient, I am sooooo glad I have someone like Jim Thomson on my side…. NOT.

Jim’s a strange contradiction – he claims to be a ‘patient advocate’ but makes his living by working for Pharmaceutical companies peddling their lies and I for one, haven’t forgotten you Jim.

If you want to get up to speed about JIm and his good works have a look here – and follow all the links for more interesting details.

Much of what Jim is involved in is known as  Astroturfing, which, according to Wikipedia, “…is a term referring to political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization, but designed to mask its origins to create the impression of being spontaneous, popular “grassroots” behavior. The term refers to AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt (“outreach”, “awareness”, etc.) and covert (disinformation) means.

Astroturfing may be undertaken by highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not “grass root” campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns.”

And that definition perfectly sums up Jim and his current organisation – the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines. On the EAASM website, Jim tells us “The Alliance has been formed by a cross-section of European patient safety stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds.” Oh yeah? The main funding stakeholders include: Bayer Healthcare, Boehringer Ingleheim, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Co, Nycomed, Pfizer and Wyeth

And what does Jim say that the EAASM does? – “…promoting patient safety around Europe.”
[Just a wild thought Jim, but maybe you’d be better to protect us patients from the some of the drugs that the pharma companies make themselves…!]

What do I think? It’s just another lobbying group created big Pharma, one that deliberately confuses the completely legal European parallel trade in drugs with counterfeit drug sales.

The EAASM is all about ensuring that big Pharma can sell its drugs at one (highest) price across the huge market that is Europe. The drug companies are concerned with their loss of revenue and NOT in patient safety.

And now the EAASM is starting to use social media to get its message across.

I missed a tweet about a live web tv show with Jim (funded by Pfizer) and run by the agency markettiers4dc There are other (supposedly) random tweets just starting appear about the EAASM – corporate social media campaigns, eh?

Now that Markettiers4dc are involved expect more tweets very soon.


3 Responses to “Jim Thomson rears his ugly head again…”

  1. Gordon Says:

    I found this article when i did a search for the named person as I had just found a copy of a letter of complaint I wrote about him in 2002.

    I am obviously not going to say too much, but it was a horrendous experience of personal nastiness to achieve a personal end and I would not trust him as far as I could throw him.

    Thankfully I got over it, but it took a while and it has jaundiced my view of charities ever since.

    • admin Says:

      Perhaps you should have a look at the other posts I’ve written about Jim in the past – never met the man myself, but you and others have been in touch with stories about him that leave a very nasty taste in the mouth.

      • Gordon Says:

        Yes, its odd. He did not act alone either. Two other names you mention were also involved. It started off as a dispute about user involvement, but when you got to the bottom of it there seemed to be a rather poor view of people with mental health problems by the people running the organisation.

        I can’t say any more than that because I deleted all the data last year apart from that letter, which I found yesterday.

        One thing that people need to understand about charities is that if you want to do social policy work, research, training of professionals, campaigning, capacity building or umbrella work there is plenty of funding. If you actually want to provide services directly to people in need there is virtually none. This distorts organisations that had the original aim of helping people or assisting people to help each other. The demise of DA into research, training and other areas rather than properly developing self help has meant there is virtually no support for people with depression other than drug treatment or a very long waiting list for psychological treatments.

        Other charities are also sliding away from providing support to people and into research and other activities. Have a look at the web site of the Teenage Cancer Trust as one example. They headline support services but a a large and growing proportion of their work is training health professionals and running a “multi disciplinary forum”. I am not highlighting them for any special reason, they are one of a long list of ones I have noticed recently and I would expect there will be drug company money involved somewhere in all of this.

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