(01/06/06) Medicijnen voor kinderen: Pharmasector, tel uit je winst ...

Vandaag nam het EP een akkoord aan mbt. een regeling over medicijnen voor kinderen. Hoewel het goed is dat er eindelijk aandacht is voor specifieke medicijnen, laat het akkoord een bittere smaak na. Goed is dat kinderen niet meer zullen worden blootgesteld aan voor hen schadelijke medicijnen. Ronduit slecht is dat de pharmacie voor dit soort tests rijkelijk betaald zal worden. Deze industrie zou geen extra's moeten krijgen om na te gaan of hun producten onschadelijk zijn voor kinderen. Nu draait de samenleving voor deze tests op. Op initiatief van de Europese Groenen zal de Commissie ook nagaan welke kankerverwekkende stoffen er in (alle) medicijnen zijn verwerkt.

Paediatric medicine

New rules for children's medicine to fill the pockets of big pharma firms

The European Parliament today approved the final agreement on a regulation on paediatric medicine, ensuring the assessment of medicines for their paediatric use. Speaking after the vote, Hiltrud Breyer, Greens/EFA Member of the Environment Committee , stated:

"It is welcome that medicines will finally be assessed with regard to their safety for use with children, as this should hopefully end the negligent treatment of children with potentially dangerous medication. However, it is baffling why the pharma industry should be so disproportionately rewarded for doing what it should have done all along. The patent extension, which will be awarded to firms carrying out the assessments, bears no relation to the actual costs of the assessments themselves.

"Pharma firms should not need a financial incentive to ensure the safety of the products they want to sell. Despite the fact the pharmaceutical industry is already one of the most profitable sectors, national health budgets will now have to subsidise it to assess medicines for paediatric use. This gift to the pharma industry is a blow to national healthcare budgets and those dependent on national healthcare systems.

"It is bad enough that the pharmaceutical industry had not assessed many of its products for paediatric use but it is utterly unacceptable that proven toxic substances, such as Dibutylphthaltate (1), continue to be used in the coating of medicines. Due to an initiative by the Greens/EFA group, the Commission agreed that the European Medicines Agency should look into the use of substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproductive organs, as additives in medicinal products for human use, and take any necessary action to follow-up on its opinion.

"An immediate and outright ban on the use of such substances would have been the best solution but at least they will now come under European scrutiny. The use of harmful phthalates and the like, as additives in medicines in general, should be phased out as soon as possible."

Notes to the editors:

(1) Recent research in Germany by Plusminus had revealed the use of dibutylphthalate - a substance that is toxic to reproduction - in more than 50 medicinal products. Many of these are taken by pregnant women and may therefore contribute to the increase of genital malformations of new-born boys.

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