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Huge Delays In Dealing With Complaints Against UK Drug Companies Revealed

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Processing times for complaints against drug companies suspected of having breached their industry code of practice have more than tripled in a nearly two-decade period, an investigation by The BMJ has found.

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Carried out by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), this investigation revealed significant delays in handling complaints against UK drug companies suspected of violating industry codes of practice. Data analysis spanning nearly two decades shows that processing times for such complaints have more than tripled, with some taking over a year to resolve.

In a supposed attempt to address the backlog, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has raised complaint-related fees by over 40 percent. While concerns have also been raised with UK regulatory bodies such as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), little action appears to have been taken to address the deteriorating processing times – thus further damaging public confidence in what is currently a self-regulatory system.

It isn’t as if UK politicians aren’t aware of the true nature of the pharmaceutical industry. Far from it, in fact. We know this thanks to a remarkable report entitled ‘The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry’ which was published in 2005 on behalf of the British Government. Compiled by a departmental select committee appointed by the British House of Commons, the 126-page report examines the influence that the pharmaceutical industry has upon the practice of medicine and healthcare in the UK. Despite examining key issues such drug safety concerns, drug-induced illness, and illegal marketing practices, the report was essentially ‘buried’ and most of its recommendations ignored.

To learn more about the UK’s ‘Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry’ report, see this article on our website.

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