The European Medicines Agency, criticised in the past for excessive secrecy, is opening its data vaults to systematic scrutiny, a move that is creating tensions with drugmakers worried about preserving business confidentiality.
Too few women are taking part in clinical tests to develop new drugs, putting their lives at risk as women's bodies react differently to medicines, health experts said ahead of International Women's Day.
The lack of gender balance in clinical tests affects almost all medical sectors, but is particularly relevant in cardiovascular diseases where only 33% of trials participants are women. On International Women's Day, Marco Stramba-Badiale is calling for an update of the EU's Clinical Trials Directive to address this imbalance.
The OECD is urging its member governments to harmonise their clinical trial approval processes, citing a decline in the pharmaceutical sector in the EU, where the number of applications for clinical trials fell 25% between 2007 and 2011.
The European Commission's proposed regulation on clinical trials will help the European pharma industry to stop research centres from fleeing to Asia and America, says Philippe Juvin, a French centre-right MEP.
A cure for clinical trials
"Pharma companies often miss their deadlines when testing new drugs. The use of marketing techniques to manage the recruitment of patients for clinical trials could speed things up considerably."
The McKinsey Quarterly, 2002 Number 2
The EU is currently overhauling its pharmaceutical legislation with a view to fostering innovation and ensuring the …