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Pharmaceutical lobbying and pandemic stockpiling of Tamiflu: a qualitative study of arguments and tactics

Vilhelmsson, Andreas LU and Mulinari, Shai LU (2017) In Journal of Public Health
Abstract
Background Little is known about how pharmaceutical companies lobby authorities or experts regarding procurement or the use of vaccines and antivirals. This paper investigates how members of Denmark's pandemic planning committee experienced lobbying efforts by Roche, manufacturer of Tamiflu, the antiviral that was stockpiled before the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic. Methods Analysis of interviews with six of seven members of the Danish core pandemic committee, supplemented with documentary analysis. We sought to identify (1) arguments and (2) tactics used in lobbying, and to characterize interviewees' views on the impact of (3) lobbying and (4) scientific evidence on the decision to stockpile Tamiflu. Results Roche lobbied directly (in its own... (More)
Background Little is known about how pharmaceutical companies lobby authorities or experts regarding procurement or the use of vaccines and antivirals. This paper investigates how members of Denmark's pandemic planning committee experienced lobbying efforts by Roche, manufacturer of Tamiflu, the antiviral that was stockpiled before the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic. Methods Analysis of interviews with six of seven members of the Danish core pandemic committee, supplemented with documentary analysis. We sought to identify (1) arguments and (2) tactics used in lobbying, and to characterize interviewees' views on the impact of (3) lobbying and (4) scientific evidence on the decision to stockpile Tamiflu. Results Roche lobbied directly (in its own name) and through a seemingly independent third party. Roche used two arguments: (1) the procurement agreement had to be signed quickly because the drug would be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis and (2) Denmark was especially vulnerable to an influenza crisis because it had smaller Tamiflu stocks than other countries. Most interviewees suspected that lobbying had an impact on Tamiflu procurement. Conclusions Our study highlights risks posed by pharmaceutical lobbying. Arguments and tactics deployed by Roche are likely to be repeated whenever many countries are negotiating drug procurements in a monopolistic market. (Less)
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Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
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in
Journal of Public Health
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISSN
1741-3842
DOI
10.1093/pubmed/fdx101
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b9032aad-ba7d-40a4-8032-4ebb3c20f914
date added to LUP
2017-07-21 14:37:10
date last changed
2017-08-14 11:11:24
@article{b9032aad-ba7d-40a4-8032-4ebb3c20f914,
  abstract     = {Background Little is known about how pharmaceutical companies lobby authorities or experts regarding procurement or the use of vaccines and antivirals. This paper investigates how members of Denmark's pandemic planning committee experienced lobbying efforts by Roche, manufacturer of Tamiflu, the antiviral that was stockpiled before the 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic. Methods Analysis of interviews with six of seven members of the Danish core pandemic committee, supplemented with documentary analysis. We sought to identify (1) arguments and (2) tactics used in lobbying, and to characterize interviewees' views on the impact of (3) lobbying and (4) scientific evidence on the decision to stockpile Tamiflu. Results Roche lobbied directly (in its own name) and through a seemingly independent third party. Roche used two arguments: (1) the procurement agreement had to be signed quickly because the drug would be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis and (2) Denmark was especially vulnerable to an influenza crisis because it had smaller Tamiflu stocks than other countries. Most interviewees suspected that lobbying had an impact on Tamiflu procurement. Conclusions Our study highlights risks posed by pharmaceutical lobbying. Arguments and tactics deployed by Roche are likely to be repeated whenever many countries are negotiating drug procurements in a monopolistic market.},
  author       = {Vilhelmsson, Andreas and Mulinari, Shai},
  issn         = {1741-3842},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Public Health},
  title        = {Pharmaceutical lobbying and pandemic stockpiling of Tamiflu: a qualitative study of arguments and tactics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdx101},
  year         = {2017},
}