Revue Prescrire, article en une, Medicines policy: key principles October 2003
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Medicines policy: key principles

Discussions of European medicines policy must take into account a number of conflicting factors (public health, individual patients, economic and financial interests, etc.

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Key texts

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Medicines in Europe: campaigning goes on!
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Medicines in Europe: understanding the public health stakes
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For those seeking in-depth information, some texts published in la revue Prescrire have never been more topical.

Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union
Several articles of the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union provide for specific rights to health and social protection. Other articles described citizens' means and rights with regard to the European institutions: rights to be defended and implemented.
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What defines real therapeutic advance?
La revue Prescrire issue 225, pp. 81 and 140-145
Full text of the declaration by ISDB (International Society of Drug Bulletins), Paris 15-16 November 2001. Don't mistake the terms "new product" or "innovation" for real therapeutic advance; keep patients' interests uppermost.
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Biomedical research: patients' interests first
La revue Prescrire issue 219, pp. 539-540 and 542-543
Full text of the Helsinki Declaration by the World Medical Association, October 2000. New treatments must be evaluated relative to the best existing options; placebos must only be used if no drugs with proven efficacy are available.
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Towards transparency of official decisions on medicines

La revue Prescrire issue 172, pp. 229 and 277-281
Full text of the Uppsala Declaration coordinated by Health Action International Europe and the Swedish foundation Dag Hammarskjöld, Uppsala 11-14 September 1996. The basic principles, obstacles and means for promoting transparency and accountability in drug regulation.
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Access to drug safety information

La revue Prescrire issue 187, p. 599
Full text of the Erice Declaration adopted following the international conference on pharmacovigilance communication organised, among others, by the Uppsala WHO collaborating centre for drug safety, Erice 24-27 September 1997, under the aegis of the World Health Organisation. Institutional duty to offer information and transparency on medicines.
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Internet: medicines agencies have a duty to inform

La revue Prescrire issue 218, p. 464
Prescrire's rating system for agency websites. La revue Prescrire has used this system to compare the FDA website (La revue Prescrire issue 221, p. 705-706) and the EMEA website (La revue Prescrire issue 228, p. 386-388).
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Also published in la revue Prescrire:

Think INN, prescribe INN: good professional practice
La revue Prescrire issue 209, pp. 561 and 606-623
An authoritative review (see also "Les médicaments génériques", a detailed file: 232 pages, last update February 2002). Drug management based on international non proprietary names (INN), including prescription and dispensing, is a key determinant of quality of care.
For further information (in French): Click here

Pricing of reimbursed drugs: what rationale?
Part I - the 1990s: worldwide deregulation hinders drug price control
La revue Prescrire issue 222, pp. 782-786
Part II - Price proportional to the degree of innovation: a good principle but poor impact
La revue Prescrire issue 223, pp. 801 and 859-863
Free trade within the European Union hinders drug price control. Drug companies have too much leeway.

©La revue Prescrire 1 October 2003