cross-border journalism

Media lift lid on secret reports on drug side-effects

In Archive, Stories on October 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm

A cooperative research into an upcoming package of EU-laws about side effects of medicines and related issues. Carried out by Joop Bouma from the Netherlands /Trouw, Marleen Teugels from Belgium / Knack and myself from Denmark / Samvirke and published in all three media as well as a summary in the Euobserver.

The key findings questioned the quality of the so called Periodic Safety Update Reports dealing with adverse reactions reported to the authorities. Other findings concerned the lobby activity during the preparation of the new legal package as well as the funding by the pharmaceutical industry of interest groups represented in Brussels.

Some articles are available online:

Trouw 2-10-2008: Slik mijn pil, zegt de farmaceut

Trouw 8-10-2008: Te koop: Europese patiëntenlobby

Trouw 22-10-2008: Verborgen bijwerkingen medicijnen, on the same day Trouw also published the previously secret security reports for a number of medicines: Rapporten bijwerkingen pillen openbaar and Trouw maakt veiligheidsrapporten openbaar

Samvirke 25-9-2008: Læger har for travlt til bivirkninger, Samvirke front page of series.

Our Belgian colleague got a research grant from the Pascal Decroos Fund, where some of the Belgian articles are available as links.

The project was mentioned at the Investigative Report Blog at the Center for Investigative Reporting in California.

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