Monday, November 29, 2010

The Therapeutic Drug Initiative sends out a final warning

From the CBC a story warning about a blood thinner.

A new blood thinner is easier to use to prevent blood clotting and strokes, but researchers in B.C. caution it may pose serious risks for some patients.
The Therapeutic Drug Initiative at the University of British Columbia is world renown for spotting dangerous drugs. In BC the group has saved taxpayers $50 million annually helping to keep dangerous drugs out of BC pharmacies. The provincial funding was $1 million per year. It's easy to understand why Big Pharma doesn't much like the Therapeutic Drug Initiative.

Gordon Campbell, the premier who resigned and then appointed himself interim leader, has gifted the people of BC with a new deal - he's killed it, and he's made sure the researchers who have staffed the TDI are not allowed to involve themselves in any new drug review process in BC. 

Campbell and the orks which occupy the BC cabinet table have caved, and I mean totally caved, to Big Pharma. From Friday's Time Colonist:

The walls of the Therapeutics Initiative are papered with accolades and letters of support from around the world. A leading medical journal called it "the only source of critical assessment of new treatments in Canada that is not political or partisan." Another commendation referred to the Therapeutics Initiative as "one of the best sources of information about pharmaceuticals ... in the world."
But no good deed goes unpunished. Drug companies have been lobbying for years to get rid of the agency.
It's worth considering the various motives involved. The Therapeutics Initiative's job is to disbelieve anything it hears about a drug until evidence can be found to support it. That makes it an industry critic. 

And of course pharmaceutical firms want to sell their products. They are on the other side of the fence.
But where does this leave the provincial government? Sitting on the fence -- until a few days ago. 

For some years, a succession of health ministers tried to square this circle: How to placate the drug industry, which is a major contributor to the Liberal party, without gutting the Therapeutics Initiative. 

The Ministry of Health has just outlined a new assessment process. First, the Therapeutics Initiative will have no further role. Its funding is terminated. 

Second, whereas the drug industry had no voice in the old system, it will have extensive influence in the new one. Conflict-of-interest rules have been substantially weakened. And the industry has been given four separate points of engagement. 

Third, in what can only be considered an act of spite, staff at the Therapeutics Initiative are to be kept off the new drug benefit council that will manage the process. The experts who ran Canada's most successful drug review program have been told they are not wanted.
Any questions? The Campbell government isn't interested in your health. They are bought and paid for by their dollar contributing big business buddies.

1 comment:

Dana said...

Once again the 2 Metro Vancouver dailies confirm their determination to keep us in the dark about the Campbell/Liberal government.

Bird cage linings.

Hit the advertisers is the only answer to these assholes.