Posted on Tuesday 26 February 2013

PharmaTimes head-to-head debate
Whitehead vs Goldacre
26 February, 2013, 5.15pm
The Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London

Does pharma put profits ahead of patients?

Is the industry failing to live up to the legal and moral standards expected of it?

Or do its criticisers continue to push historical examples of malpractice and fail to recognise the good work pharma has done?

Corporate governance and transparency are key to building trust in any industry, yet author, doctor and journalist Ben Goldacre suggests the sector is trailing in both its moral and legal obligations.

This unique head-to-head debate organised by PharmaTimes between Goldacre and Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI, will give both sides the opportunity to put their points across in what will undoubtedly be a lively and informative evening in a unique setting.

The debate will also hear from guest panellists: confirmed so far are Sir Iain Chalmers, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration and editor of the James Lind Library; Dr Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the BMJ; Dr Beat Widler, CQA and Quality Risk Management Expert and Managing Partner at Widler and Schiemann; and Dr Richard Tiner, former President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine [2009-2012] and medical director, ABPI [1996-2009] 

Moderating the debate will be Dr Phil Hammond, GP, author, journalist, broadcaster and vice president of The Patients Association.

The debate is over. Tweets coming from Ben Goldacre say:

  • It is very sad. There are so many in industry who want to move constructively towards greater transparency, and recognise the value for them.
  • Here are the people that Stephen Whitehead of @ABPI_UK dismissed tonight
  • GSK have signed. Over 80 patient groups have signed. The ABPI are rapidly isolating themselves. How will this look?
  • This official ABPI comment in response to the single movement for transparency that has galvanised support from patients and professionals.
  • BTW: tonight at a debate Stephen Whitehead of @ABPI_UK said [verbatim] "We will not respond to PR driven initiatives such as alltrials”.

  • Stephen Whitehead: Medicine is not ‘broken’; the pharmaceutical industry is responsible for saving lives ‘on an epic scale’
  • Stephen Whitehead: We are all moving in the same direction. What is the issue is how to get there
  • Stephen Whitehead: Pharmaceutical companies do not compare their drugs with weak comparators
  • Stephen Whitehead: The regulators see every scrap of safety data as part of the approval process

Sounds like business as usual…

before · after

    February 26, 2013 | 10:08 PM

    It appears Twitter has gone beyond AstraZenca’s bad PR stunt “#RXSave”. Yet, the industry never die hard’s haven’t really changed much at all; it’s still a nasty game of burying their heads in the sand and defending the corrupt status quo…

    It’s not about health, it’s not about patients, and it’s not about innovation. What it is all about, is the $MONEY$….always was, always will be…

    February 27, 2013 | 2:47 AM

    I was encouraged by the number of people in the audience (mainly industry) wh had signed up as individuals to

    One concern that came to light was how the industry might clear the skeletons from their closet without creating a lot of lawsuits…..

    February 27, 2013 | 7:10 PM

    Twitter: The evolution of sound bites.

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