Pharmaceutical Trial Data/Tamiflu
Mr Smith was a member of the Public Accounts Committee for their report "Access to clinical trial information and the stockpiling of Tamiflu", published January 2014. The report minutes show that he attended both the oral evidence session and the meeting approving the report. The summary of the report reads:
- The Department of Health (the Department) spent £424 million on stockpiling Tamiflu, an antiviral medicine used in the treatment of influenza, for use in a pandemic, but had to write off £74 million of its Tamiflu stockpile as a result of poor record-keeping by the NHS.
- There is a lack of consensus over how well Tamiflu works, in particular whether it reduces complications and mortality. Discussions over this issue among professionals have been hampered because important information about clinical trials is routinely and legally withheld from doctors and researchers by manufacturers. This longstanding regulatory and cultural failure impacts on all of medicine, and undermines the ability of clinicians, researchers and patients to make informed decisions about which treatment is best. There are also concerns about the information made available to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which assesses a medicine's clinical and cost-effectiveness for use in the NHS.
Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science and Bad Pharma, and co-founder of the AllTrials campaign welcomed the report, calling it "a complete vindication of AllTrials’ call for all the results, of all the trials, on all the uses of all currently prescribed treatments".
In February 2015 Nick Smith voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
- HTML: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmpubacc/295/29502.htm
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