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.