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EPWG statement: Concerns arise again over conflicts of interest within EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative

The European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases (EPWG) expressed concern over conflicts of interest in yet another project funded by the world’s largest public-private partnership for biomedical research, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
 
Half of IMI’s funding comes from the EU budget, with the other half provided by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
 
This week, ReAct Europe, hosted by Uppsala University, has announced its withdrawal from an IMI project aimed at tackling anti-microbial resistance, DRIVE-AB, citing ‘unresolved problems of conflict of interest in shaping policy recommendations’ and raising issues with project governance.
 
The decision was taken after DRIVE-AB’s Steering Committee made a submission to a peer-reviewed journal, Lancet Infectious Diseases, with preliminary recommendations there was no agreement on within the group, whilst also omitting that fact.
 
Speaking from Brussels in reaction to this withdrawal, Nessa Childers, MEP and Chairperson of Parliament’s working group on access to medicines (EPWG) said:
 
“This is yet another worrisome development arising from an IMI project which casts a strange light on the nebulous arrangements the pharmaceutical industry seems to secure from the public sector stakeholders as a condition for their participation.
 
“ReAct has walked out in disagreement with a practice of misrepresenting recommendations as if they had the endorsement of public interest stakeholders.
 
“This warrants further scrutiny, as taxpayer-funded resources and scientific integrity are at stake here, on various levels.
 
“If we have an outcome here that emulates certain kinds of bad practices from industry, there is no need of a PPP for that.”
 
 
ENDS
 
For more information, here is ReAct Europe’s statement.
 
Read more about the EWPG here.
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Page updated: 23 June 2017
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