Meeting in Erice, Sicily, 7-9 October 2019 about reducing drug harms

Sponsored by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre and co-arranged by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford, 34 invited people participated in a three-day workshop, “Improving the detection, analysis and reporting of harms in medicines: exploring, enhancing and empowering.”

It has been shown in several independent studies that prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer (see the references under “About”). In many cases, the patients did not need the drugs that killed them. At the same time, it is also a fact that undertreatment occurs. The participants at the workshop therefore agreed to call for substantial changes in the way we research, regulate and use drugs.

A formal Erice Statement is in preparation; there will be additional meetings in future; and some of the participants will take various initiatives to change the status quo.

Tom Jefferson and Peter Gøtzsche from the Institute for Scientific Freedom and Carl Heneghan, Juan Ramon Laporte and Kim Witczak from its Advisory Board participated in the meeting.