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NGOs concerned over "conflict of interest" after Novartis executive is appointed to WHO evaluating group on neglected tropical diseases

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Article
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13 May 2011

Mercado de la salud

Author: Leticia Roncero Portas, Centro de Colaboraciones Solidarias (CCS)

E]l nombramiento de Paul Herrling, directivo de la multinacional farmacéutica Novartis, como miembro de un grupo de expertos…de la OMS, fue objeto de crítica por…algunos países y ONG, [pues] el comité…es el encargado de definir…las estrategias [para] investigar y desarrollar los tratamientos…para…enfermedades que afectan…países empobrecidos, poco rentables para el negocio de las farmacéuticas. Las ONG…entre [el]las…Médicos Sin Fronteras e Intermón Oxfam, alegaban que [esto]…podía desembocar en un conflicto de intereses…[pues] el científico suizo es también director del Fondo para la Investigación y Desarrollo de Enfermedades Olvidadas...de Novartis, una de las propuestas que la comisión va a evaluar…Quienes defendieron a Herrling aseguraban...que la industria farmacéutica no puede quedar fuera del debate…

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Article
29 January 2011

Concern as Novartis exec approved to WHO

Author: Jessica Dacey, swissinfo.ch

Paul Herrling, the Swiss head of corporate research at pharmaceutical concern Novartis, was among 21 people…to join a WHO expert group evaluating funding for projects into neglected tropical diseases – those illnesses affecting the poorest populations. He is the only expert in the group who is also an executive in the drugs industry...The Swiss is also the author of a proposal to the same working group for a new funding model that would allocate $10 billion…in grants to fund research by pharmaceutical firms...“It is a conflict of interest for Paul Herrling to evaluate his own proposals,” James Love, of the non-profit advocacy group Knowledge Ecology International [said]…Herrling…[said]: “If the Swiss government and the WHO board think it might be valuable to bring in my experience…I am very willing to do my best to help...”…The WHO said no potential conflicts of interest were big enough to exclude the experts from the panel. But the Council of Europe took a stand on the issue, criticising the WHO’s lack of transparency.

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