Swedish MEP Carl Schlyter is shadow rapporteur on a report trying to bring to light the hold that the pharmaceuticals industry has over information on treatments. He wants better communication of non-drug alternative treatments, and stricter controls on w
Carl Schlyter, vice-chair of Environment Committee. This report seeks to shift the Commission's focus away from pharmaceuticals industry's right to inform towards patients' right to information. Exactly and the Commission is from the wrong background. Now we have to ensure there are no loopholes regarding advertising of prescription drugs to the general public. That must stop, but how to achieve that? Now there are many new hidden channels for communication which we have to block or there will be disease mongering etc. The project is being held up in the Council many countries strongly oppose this. In a sense, it's pointless as it will never pass the Council. The Council is worried if patients ask too many questions about the alternatives, it's not only drugs, non-drug treatment is also useful. Patients have the right to this information. I propose that the only information companies can communicate is what is in the leaflet you get when you buy a medicine. Then you don't need authorisation procedures, etc... which will help governments. We would also like to oblige governments to have internet pages and other certified, neutral and correct information so it is easier to access this. When patients ask for info, they can access it. As shadow rapporteur, one of the problems is that with too much information they will opt for the most expensive treatment. It's true, but if the industry doesn't provide info there is a chance alternative treatments, which are often better, will be better communicated if it's not industry in charge of it. Then we will end up that way.