Report House of Commons Influence Pharmaceutical Industry 2004

Terms of Reference



1 Introduction

2 The UK pharmaceutical industry


Research and development

Medicines and health gains

Generic medicines

The Pharmaceutical Industry Competitiveness Task Force

3 Difficulties facing the pharmaceutical industry

4 From drug development to prescription


Drug development and the conduct of medical research

Medicines licensing

Post-licensing evaluation, including value for money assessments

The provision of medicines information

Information to prescribers

Information to patients

Professional and patient education

The promotion of drugs

5 Arrangements for controlling the activity of the UK-based pharmaceutical industry


International standards and 'good clinical practice' guidelines

Research Ethics Committees

Licensing: the MHRA

Post-licensing surveillance

Orphan drugs

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme

Drug and Therapeutics Committees

Professional bodies

The industry's codes of practice

6 Control of access to medicines


Drug classification





7 Inappropriate level of industry influence?

8 Influence of the industry on key groups


Research into pharmaceuticals

Innovation and therapeutic advance

Conduct of medical research


The use of journals

Drug company promotional activities

Promotional campaigns: targeting of healthcare professionals



Information to patients: the Internet and PILs

Disease awareness campaigns

Promotional campaigns: targeting patients and the general public

Patient organisations

The drug regulatory system

Reputation of the regulator

Post-marketing surveillance

The patient voice

Expert Working Group report on SSRI safety

Wider significance of the SSRI experience

Medicines reclassification



9 Conclusions and recommendations



Unsafe use of drugs

Medicalisation of society: 'a pill for every ill'


The industry

The regulatory system

Medical practitioners



Government and EU

Annex: contributions from pharmaceutical companies to All-Party Groups

List of Abbreviations


Conclusions and recommendations

Formal minutes


Reports from the Health Committee since 2001 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE - VOLUME II (HC 42-II)

Thursday 9 September 2004Thursday 14 October 2004Thursday 11 November 2004Thursday 25 November 2004Thursday 7 December 2004Thursday 16 December 2004Thursday 13 January 2005Tuesday 20 January 2005Thursday 3 February 2005 WRITTEN EVIDENCE - VOLUME II (HC 42-II)

 What's new


addthis_pub = 'disabilityvotescount';

26 November 2009 /// The European Community has just ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Unprecedented step forward for the first human rights treaty ratified in the history of Europe and a great signal sent to all

EU Members States.

In today’s session of the Council of the European Union, the European Community ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). This ratification represents a major policy shift toward enforcing human rights obligations and putting disability on top of the human rights agenda: this is the first time in the European Union history that the Community is going to accede to an international human rights treaty.



Nine core international human rights instruments


There are nine core international human rights treaties at the UN level. Entered into force on May 2008, the CRPD is the first United Nations Convention specifically related to the rights of people with disabilities; it became a reality largely due to active mobilization of those who participated in negotiating the text. For the EDF, this constitutes a historic achievement in the struggle against violations of the human rights of people with disabilities.



The instrumental Convention

The CRPD has set a number of precedents: it is the first major Human Rights treaty of the 21st century and the fastest to have been ratified by an impressive number of countries since its entry into force in 2008. With 143 signatories and 74 ratifications only just 32 months after opening the Convention for signatures, the UN CRPD sets an unprecedented record of commitment by the international community.




The UN Convention in the European Union

In the European Union, more than 65 million persons have a disability, representing more than 10% of the residents from 27 countries. Since its entry into force on May 2008, the Convention has been signed by all Member States and by the European Community; it has been ratified by 12 of them (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, and the UK)

In 2008, straight after it entered into force, the EDF called on the Members States for the unconditional application of the Convention and a commitment to open a permanent dialogue with all European organisations representing persons with disability. Since then, the European disability movement has been stressing the importance of the involvement of the civil society organisations in the implementation and monitoring process. Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum, stressed: “The European Union has not only achieved a major step in its history, but it is also sending a positive signal to its Member States that haven’t ratified the Convention yet.”




How does it bind the Members States and the EU?

The UN CRPD binds its States Parties to a revision of all existing legislation, policies and programs to ensure they are in compliance with its provisions. Concretely, it will mean actions in many areas such as access to education, employment, transport, infrastructures and buildings open to the public, granting right to vote and political participation, ensuring full legal capacity of all persons with disabilities, and a shift from institutions where persons with disabilities live separated from society into community and home-based services promoting independent living.

All the institutions of the European Union will now have to endorse the values of the Convention in all policies under their competence: from transport to employment and from information and communication technologies to development cooperation. It also means that they have to adjust the accessibility of their own buildings, their own employment and communications policy.




This is only the beginning

While welcoming the conclusion of the Convention by the Community as the beginning of the new relationship between the EU and the UN, EDF voices its outstanding concerns:

-“We regret the reservation adopted by the Council to exclude the employment of persons with disabilities in the armed forces from the scope of the Convention. We invite other States Parties across the world to oppose this reservation to avoid setting a dangerous precedent worldwide,” stressed Donata Vivanti, EDF Vice-President.

-The delay in the procedure of the Community accession to the so-called Optional Protocol is harmful for citizens. According to this text European residents can claim their rights under the Convention if they had not been granted by the national courts. This delay also means that the UN Committee may not yet initiate the inquiry procedure into disabled persons’ rights violations in Europe. EDF wants to make sure the next EU presidency will work on the conclusion of the Optional Protocol.

- It is now crucial for the EU Institutions to work on the details of implementation and to ensure that a strong independent mechanism for monitoring implementation will be established soon: mechanism must be free from all undue pressure. The EU and the civil society are exploring a new ground on international law and human rights: over their consultation, the involvement of Disabled Persons Organisations with a right to influence the process is extremely important for the success of this first human rights treaty.




The European disability movement calls on the incoming Spanish Presidency to actively work towards the confirmation of the ratification over the United Nations in the first months of 2010. This necessary step will undoubtedly bring 65 million citizens with disabilities closer to the new leadership team of Europe straight when the Lisbon treaty enters into force.



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Contact: Aurélien Daydé | European Disability Forum | T +32 282 46 00 | M+ 32 485 64 39 93 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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