Access to Medical Research Data

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Not even in the European Parliament. But more often than not you can pay with your time instead of money here in the parliament.  The concept is easy: You get to eat, and the lobbyist get to lobby you while you're eating. If you choose wisely you'll not only get the lunch paid for you but you'll also end up spending your time being lobbied by the lobbyists you like. Perhaps even gain some insight or knowledge you didn't have before or make some connections that can come in handy in the future.

I spent my lunch today being lobbied by Health Action International Europe and Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue. In my book they're among the good lobbyists here in the parliament, and today they where holding a lunch debate on the topic "opening up medical research data for an ethical and efficient EU policy", graciously hosted by three MEPs: Christel Schaldemose (S&D), Peter Liese (EPP) and Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA).

HAI summarize the problem they aim to tackle in the following questions on their webpage:

Crucial information about many medicines is kept secret. In consequence, doctors can face difficulty in choosing the safest and most effective treatment for their patients. Is it ethical and efficient for the EU to allow essential medical research data to be shrouded in secrecy? Can the health of EU citizens be effectively protected with very little or insufficient access to clinical trial data concerning the safety and secondary effects of a drug?

During the lunch I was particularly impressed by the speech and remarks from Prof. Dr. Peter Gøtzsche who's position on the topic can be found here. From a Pirate perspective there's no doubt about the fact that the movement for access to Medical research- and health trial data is one more branch of the growing movement for an open and transparent society.

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This is one of my main areas of interest and expertise, as you know. From a Pirate perspective, I know we can make a huge difference moving medical science and practice towards transparency in favor of the individual. However, requires more significant attention.

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