Things aren't quite as they seem at cancer pressure group Cancer United, which is being launched today in Brussels. It describes itself as a pioneering coalition of doctors, nurses and patients, pushing for equal access to cancer care throughout Europe.
However, it is merely a front for drug giant Roche, which makes Herceptin, the new breast cancer 'wonder drug', and Avastin, researchers have claimed.
The drug company is funding the coalition, a senior company executive sits on Cancer United's board, and its secretariat is Weber Shandwick, the drug company's PR agency.
Several MEPs and the head of the European Cancer Patients Coalition have already stepped down from United's board as they were concerned about the funding arrangements.
At the heart of the new group's campaign is a controversial study that has come up with dubious results. It also happens to have been funded by Roche.
Still, if it keeps the Herceptin bandwagon rolling. . .(Source: The Guardian, 18 October 2006)
E-news broadcast 19 October 2006 No.302 [Subscribe]