Do consumer groups really advocate for the public interest?

09 August 2014

The Guardian recently claimed to have exposed an attempt by a number of pharmaceutical companies to thwart efforts by the European drug regulator (the European Medicines Agency) to have all clinical trial data made available to the public. The tactic is apparently being used by industry, and coordinated by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The idea is to mobilise patient advocacy groups to campaign against greater transparency on the grounds that information might be misinterpreted and cause health scares. Several companies have denied using such a strategy, while others have refused to comment.