Friday, July 04, 2008

Introducing Drug3k: A European answer to consumer understanding on prescription drugs

[Click on Post Title for Link to External Article]

Also look at:

True, we live in an age of conflict in the pharmaceutical industry:

- Slower approvals (not slow enough)
- Blatant, unpunished, unscientific fraud (read Avandia, Vioxx, Celebrex and don't stop there...)
- Spiraling costs of innovation
- Lack of blockbusters
- A failed system of patent protection, combined with generic manufacturers

However, the main problem to the consumer is:

- Lack of clarity on drugs and their effects (not "side" effects as many sad users of Avandia and Vioxx would note if they could), further complicated by a distinct attempt by pharmaceutical companies to hide them and a readiness from Governments across the world to let go with a slap on the wrist following discovery

- Well meaning physicians are also clueless in the face of sparse and fraudulent publications (Do you know what Merck did last summer?)

- A dearth of public resources that are neutral in their objective to educate the Physician and the consumer.

It is this third gap, the "dearth" that the drug3k project aims to fill. It is a project of the European Organization of Family Health Research. The idea is to provide neutral, evidence based support to physicians and consumers, exactly what is missing.

The project pages are quite effusive detail and one would hope that it gains strength in patronage and wealth of information. I also hope that this is seen more as a central resource and is adapted by Consumer Health Non-profits all over the world.

Here's to wishing them good luck...

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