Patient groups accuse European parliament of putting economic interests ahead of safety on medical devices

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 24 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6446
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1Strasbourg

The European parliament has put economic interests ahead of patient safety when it comes to tightening regulation of medical devices, several patient groups and members of the European parliament have said.

The criticisms come after MEPs voted to change how certain—but not all—high risk medical devices come on to the market. Other changes to their regulation have been watered down over time too.

Ilaria Passarani, senior health policy officer at the European Consumer Organisation said, “Unfortunately, in this time of economic crisis, arguments regarding jobs, growth and innovation have greater weight than arguments about patient safety.”

Christian Zahn, vice president of AIM, the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies, many of whose members have to decide which products to reimburse in their countries, said that “the opportunity to improve the safety of patients is wasted.”

“I am surprised that economic reasons are more important …

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