MEP calls for tougher legislation to stop drug trials that could be considered as marketing

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 19 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4247
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1BMJ

A member of the European parliament has asked the European Commission to consider bringing in legislation to stop companies conducting what they call post-marketing drug trials but that are, in reality, “disguised marketing.”

Michael Cashman, Labour MEP for the West Midlands, tabled the question after a BMJ investigation raised concerns about the purpose of post-marketing studies of new treatments for diabetes and called for better regulation to ensure “a proper balance” between the commercial and clinical functions of such studies.1

In his study, one of several in the BMJ about post-marketing studies, Edwin Gale, emeritus professor of diabetic medicine at the University of Bristol, found that nearly 400 000 people worldwide have been recruited into post-marketing studies of insulin analogues since 2005. Novo Nordisk, a Danish company, recruited nearly 360 000 people. …

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