Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-11-22-Speech-1-163"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the directive that we are discussing is intended to harmonise the content and quality of pharmaceutical information which is accessible to all citizens of the Union. Whilst it stresses the right to advertise, it ultimately asserts the patient’s right to information. We must give all European citizens the same opportunity to access information on medicinal products. The main objective of this directive is to make European patients more informed so that they can take a more knowledgeable approach to medicine. Every one of us, and especially the pharmaceutical industry, must have the same objective, which is to provide information that is accurate and useful and, at the same time, available to all citizens without distinction. I believe that there are two particularly important points in the directive. Firstly, citizens must be given the opportunity, by means of accurate information, to use medicines correctly, so that they have a more beneficial effect on their health, whilst the risks associated with their misuse are minimised. Secondly, accurate and effective information can increase citizens’ awareness of the burden of pharmaceutical costs on public spending. In any case, we must be very attentive and rigorous on certain points. I refer, above all, to the danger of medicinal information turning into disguised advertising. We must avoid the risk of supposedly scientific information disguising a much less noble intention, which is to influence patients and steer them towards buying a particular medicine. It is therefore crucial to have effective tools to control information, especially that which patients may obtain from the Internet. In conclusion, I therefore hope that the Committee will provide ways to control information in such a way as to guarantee its accuracy. These controls should be entrusted to dedicated independent organisations so as to offer greater guarantees of impartiality."@en1

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