Case study: Mieux Prescrire - an association
The “Association Mieux Prescrire” is the publisher of the French drug bulletin la revue Prescrire and its English edition Prescrire International. “Mieux Prescrire” means “Better Prescribing”. The aim of the association as described in the statutes is: “to contribute, fully independently, to quality of health care, in the patients interest, by dissemination of knowledge and training of care givers (…)”. It is a non profit association.
The founders of the bulletin chose to set up an association with a maximum of 70 members forming the General Assembly. Since 2005, all members sign a pledge for independence called “Charte Non merci” (like “No thank you” in the same spirit as “No free lunch”, USA and “No grazie, pago io,” (No thank you I'll pay) Italy). The membership is made up of four groups, which are called ‘collèges’ elected by the General Assembly. Each collège makes up a set percentage of the membership:
The founders. This group consists of people who have contributed considerably to the creation and development of the organization. The founders make up 20% of the membership.
The permanent advisory group. This group consists mainly of people from the scientific community (from France and other countries) who support the work of the association. This group makes up 20% of the membership.
The editors. This group is made up of editors of the bulletin who have been with la revue Prescrire for more than one year. They are elected by the other editors and make up 35% of the membership.
The readers. This group consists of readers of the bulletin, in total 25% of the membership.
The administrative council, the board of the association (20 members), is elected by the general assembly and consists of representatives of the four groups mentioned above. Members of the administrative council, of the directorate general and of the editorial team must have no conflict of interest, and sign a declaration confirming this point.
A bulletin for exchange of news among the members of the association is published for internal use and called Les Nouvelles du Moment.
Contributed by Danielle Bardelay, la revue Prescrire [http://www.prescrire.org].