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The mysterious case of the six hundred deaths too many (all over 65)

“Is the European Commission more concerned with serving the interests of an American pharmaceutical company than with ensuring the survival of dozens of patients affected by a serious and rare liver disease?” Libération asks. According to the newspaper

for three years Brussels has been opposing with all its strength the placing on the European market of a drug, Orphacol, produced by the small French laboratory Ctrs and capable of avoiding certain death for people affected by a rare incurable disease. [...] The bureaucratic fury cannot be explained by any reason linked to public health, given that the scientific opinion - and that of the 27 EU states - is unanimously in favor of a drug with proven efficacy. Benefiting from the Commission's veto is above all an American company, Asklepion Pharmaceuticals, controlled by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The US laboratory has in fact filed an application for authorization for a competing drug - but which does not yet exist - with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) based in London.

Brussels' attitude is "incomprehensible", admits a Commission official. Indeed, as Libération points out, “the European Commission usually takes refuge behind the opinions of scientists from the various European agencies”. The left-leaning newspaper points the finger at Patricia Brunko, head of the medicines unit at the Commission's "health and consumer" directorate-general, who appears "intentioned to sink Orphacol". Libération underlines the links of the affair with the Dalli affair:

Brunko's boss is known to have been former Commissioner John Dalli, dismissed in October by European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso over the suspicions of corruption in the tobacco sector. "In any case, Olaf, the Commission's anti-fraud office, has not been consulted", they underline in Paris.

January 9, 2013   

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco