Drug companies expected to get more leeway in communicating with patients in Europe

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 13 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1228
  1. Anna Sayburn
  1. 1BMJ

    The European Commission is considering tabling legislation next year that would change the rules on the information that drug companies can provide to patients.

    The proposals look likely to relax the current laws, which prohibit provision of information by drug companies to patients except through strictly controlled mechanisms, such as information leaflets provided within drug packaging. The European Commission has been consulting about its proposals since April (BMJ 2007;334:1025 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39212.645486.DB and 2007;335:526 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39310.506308.AD).

    Speaking at a meeting at the European parliament last week, Christian Siebert, department head at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, said that the most likely date for publication of the proposed legislation was October 2008.

    He said there was an “emerging consensus” from the consultation that change was needed, but that “the …

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