Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
The sample case of bevacizumab poses a more general regulatory issue.
We have already proposed (BMJ 2010;341:c3721) that when commercial
interests hamper or even oppose public health expectations, regulatory
authorities should be enabled to recognise the indications that meet
patients' needs best, meaning more effectively, more safely, or at lower
cost. The European Commission should amend the legislation that prevents
the EMA initiating authorisation procedures independently of the
pharmaceutical industry or mandating a compulsory licence for another
company for a specific indication.
No competing interests
21 January 2011
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan