Drugs firms lavished millions on freebies for NHS staff

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Maria Espasandin our clinical research manager brought the following article to our attention:

Brady and Owen. Drugs firms lavished millions on freebies for NHS staff. Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Bribery Act could sharply restrict the lavish hospitality offered by pharmaceutical industry to doctors and nurses. …… read on…….

“I am acutely aware of the fine line between honest collaboration and bribery that exists between MSologists and Pharma. Recent International events have not helped us at all.”


“I sincerely hope that being transparent or open with our Industry relationships helps counter criticisms.”

“At the end of the day if we don’t collaborate with Industry we will not develop new therapies for MS’ers.”

” I now know what the phrase between a rock and a hard place‘ actually means!”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

5 comments

  • i have never seen you as excited as when negative results came on Alemtuzumab… I guess you owe all your readers on this change in behaviour, clearly marked in your posts…

  • Not excited; somewhat surprised. My experience of MS'ers who receive this therapy is that they do so well. We don't have the full data set so it is difficult to comment further.

    I am now expecting the data to show that those treated very early after disease-onset will do better than those treated later. If this is the case it will very useful data to argue to the regulators that we need to make this treatment available to MS'ers ASAP after disease onset; before any significant damage has occurred. Whether or not MS'ers will want to take the risks associated with this therapy at this stage of their disease is another issue.

    I still believe that Alemtuzumab has the potential to cure some people of MS. It is the only drug, apart from bone marrow transplantation, that offers this at the moment.

  • Everybody has an immune system. Is there something abnormal in the immune system of PwMS?
    My understanding is that MS starts with a break in the blood-brain barrier that allows immune cells into the CNS.
    Why is there so much research into modifying/suppressing the immune system?
    Why not focus on what causes the BBB problems and how the BBB can be restored?

    There may be some basic flaw in my understanding, but this point has puzzled me for a long time

  • (continuing)
    If whatever damaged the blood-brain-barrier is still active, then disease activity will resume soon after bone marrow transplant or whenever the induction therapy is stopped

  • Re: "damaged the blood-brain-barrier"

    We think the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) changes that occur in MS are secondary to the inflammation. The evidence that BBB is the primary problem in MS is weak. Therefore switching off the autoimmune response and downstream inflammation should restore the barrier.

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