The European Patient Information Channel, as industry is calling it, could be available on the internet as well as TV, and would offer "on demand" information about drugs "to enable patients and citizens to make better decisions", said Scott Ratzan of Johnson & Johnson. It would be self-regulating, with a board of medical, pharmaceutical and patient representatives to hear complaints.
The TV pilot was welcomed by the European Patients' Forum. The forum, an umbrella group, is one of only two patient organisations admitted to the working group set up by the commission to discuss changes in the rules.
Although its executive director, Nicola Bedlington, said the pilot's "slightly sanctimonious and patronising" tone needed improvement, she and other patient representatives present approved it in principle.