Transparency 13: Old Fashioned Committees and doubtful Compatibilities
In previous editions of the transparency blog we have explained the link among several members, assistant director and directors of the Spanish Agency of the Medicament, that at the same time were members of the Committee for evaluation of the Medicament of veterinarian use, and used to offer services related to the approval for trading of veterinary medicaments to private companies and university groups.
In the current transparency, we will explain the following:
• The first Committee worked with all its members’ appointments expired for 1 year and 7 months.
• The renewal of that committee was carried out by substituting the former assistant director (linked to the SERAF’s service of the UAB) for another researcher who was member of CRESA (private foundation of the UAB and IRTA whose one of their main objective is transferring to the sector scientific advances.
• The second Committee for evaluation of the Medicament of veterinarian use has all its members’ appointments expired for 1 year and 8 months, as we are aware.
Effectively, in the Official Bulletin of the State on October 19th 199, nº 250 can be read the following:
“The Royal Decree 520/1999, on March 26th which approves the statute of the Spanish Agency of the Medicament establishes that the appointment of the collegial organs of the Agency will be carried out by order of the Minister of Health and Consume.
The article 23.1 of the mentioned Royal Decree states that the Committee for evaluation of Medicaments of veterinary use will be composed by 5 members due to their positions and 12 members appointed by the Minister of Health and Consume for a 4 year period, among very well-known experts in the field of science and techniques related to the medicament of veterinary use”. After that, there can be found the list of members appointed, as follows:
By proposal of the Business Association of the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry:” Mr. Santiago de Andrés Juárez”, by proposal of the Director of the Spanish Agency of the Medicament:” Mr. Arturo Anadón Navarro, Ms. Margarita Arboix Arzo…”
We already mentioned previously that Santiago Andrés was manager of Veterindustria so he had interests in the industry already and Margarita Arboix was simultaneously director of SERAF so she had interests in advice to present the necessary documentation to obtain the approval for trading veterinary products.
In this first Committee of 1999 had minimum two members who had particular interests in the industrial sector and advice.
The appointments of this first Committee on October 19th in 1999 were valid for 4 years so their validity were expiring on Oct 19th 2003.
After 1 year and 7 months of delay (Expired committee of evaluation), the Ministry of Health and Consume published (BOE 95 de 21/4/2005) the Order SCO/1031/2005, on April 6th, where they appointed the members of the Committee for Evaluation of Medicament of veterinary use and the Spanish Agency of the Medicament and Health products. “By proposal of the Business Association of the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry: Mr. Santiago de Andrés Juárez”.
One more time, we find the presence of some representatives in the industry with interests in manufacture of veterinary medicaments.
Later on, it can be read the following:
“By proposal of the Director of the Spanish Agency of the Medicament and Health products, previous approval by the subsecretary of Agriculture, fishing and Feed: Ms. Natalia Majó Masferrer”.
On an investigation carried out by CRESA (private foundation of the UAB and IRTA whose one of their main objective is transferring to the sector scientific advances). That means the same person belongs to the Committee for evaluation and the company which will be evaluated. Once again, the case has been repeated as Margarita Arboix offers services and at the same time she is member of the Committee for Evaluation.
With all these facts mentioned above, we can wonder the following:
1. Why does the substitution of a member of UAB by another one coincides of offering services and being member of the Committee at the same time?
2. Which is the objective of its presence?
3. Which is the destiny of the funds received for advising in the UAB?
4. Is there any control by the university center, which belongs to CRESA, about the contracts and their respective income?
5. Are there any invoices issued by CRESA for their services to their customers who at the same time were requesting processings in the subdirection of medicament of veterinary use (both with the participation of Ms Natalia Majó?
6. Is there any link between the number of studies ordered to CRESA (Natalia Majó) and the number of expedients approved in Codemvet (where Natalia Majó was member of it) within 2005-2009?
7. How much will CRESA have collected through this “circle” and where will they have assigned the benefits obtained?
8. Have the appointments for the 2nd Committee, which were expiring on April 21st 2009(1 year and 8 months ago), been renewed?
9. How come a Committee with so much influence on the free competency of the market in a tech sector can accumulate so many irregularities with appointments and duration of them?