MEDICINES : OPINIONS DIFFER ON CLINICAL TRIALS.

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The debate at the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament, on 19 February, on a new regulation on clinical trials brought to light clashes - and agreements - among MEPs.

The European Commission's proposal, presented on 17 July 2012, repeals the current Directive 2001/20/EC, which had everyone agreeing to dislike it - it is seen as imposing an overly heavy regulatory framework. The aim of the proposal is to breathe new life into clinical research in Europe by simplifying procedures and differentiating between various clinical trials based on risks.

Rapporteure Glenis Willmott (S&D, UK) expressed the view that "the Commission tried to avoid the issue of ethics committees". She explained that it was therefore "vital to clarify the role of ethics committees have to play in authorising trials". Willmott also asked to set up a platform where ethics committees from across Europe can work together and she has the backing of...

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