Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Listen to the Voices of the Victims

Victims of adverse drug reactions;
coming out of denial as a society, in the name of better care

Pilule d'Or Prescrire 2014In 2014, in Europe, victims of serious adverse drug reactions are still having huge difficulties in being recognised as such. It is time to point out the inacceptable nature of this situation, and to take action.
A conference-debate on this theme was held at Prescrire's annual "Pilule d'Or" ("Golden Pill") awards ceremony, which took place in Paris on 30 January 2014.

Millie Kieve, the founder of the UK charity April (Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link) offered a chance to listen to victims' voices, especially via personal stories.

Sophie Le Pallec, president of  Amalyste, a French group that offers advice and assistance to victims of Lyell and Stevens-Johnson syndromes (extremely severe adverse drug reactions), explained how in practice it is nearly impossible for victims of adverse drug reactions to be recognised as such, most notably because of  poorly adapted legislation.

Bruno Toussaint, the Publishing Director of Independent French medical journal Prescrire, underscored the importance of listening to victims, in the name of better care: "many tragedies can be prevented by a better choice of treatments.(...) Everyone gains by listening to the victims of adverse drug reactions. Everyone gains by getting to know them, by recognising them, by listening to them. Their experiences, their personal stories and those of their entourage are a rich source of  movement towards better care, towards a better choice of treatments, towards better information and better education, towards better regulation of the pharmaceuticals market, for better management of health insurance resources, and also for a profound re-thinking of how victims of adverse drug reactions should be taken care of, including from a legal point of view (...)".
> Click here for the texts of the presentations from the Conference-debate (in French)

English text version now on Préscrire web site:

©Prescrire 1 February 2014

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