Department of Health
Market Towers 1 Nine Elms Lane London SW8 5NQ
Telephone 0171-273 0600
Facsimile 0171- 273 0737 KHJ/PD/JL
1 May 1998

Dear Charles,


Thank you for your letter dated 14 April.

You say that the MCA has not addressed the question of what harm would arise from disclosure of the information sought. May I refer you back to Dr Wood's earlier letters of December 1997 and 23 January 1998 which set out the MCA's decision not to disclose and the reasons behind it. You complained to me about this decision and I ordered a thorough review. I carefully considered the circumstances and found no grounds to substantiate your complaint. If however, you continue to find this unacceptable then it is open to you to refer this matter to the MCA's Independent Complaints Advisor. Alternatively, as you remain dissatisfied with our original decision not to release information about clinical trials on paroxetine, you may ask an MP to refer this matter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman) who will decide whether or not to conduct his own enquiry.

I would repeat that the MCA is committed to making as much information publicly available as possible. I fully expect that we can make further progress in advance of new legislation. However, there will be occasions when we can not release as much information as some people would like and this is clearly one of those occasions.

You mentioned that you have not had a reply yet to your Code request of 11 February. Mr Alder wrote to you on 22 April advising you that, as your request touched on the review of another MCA decision not to release information to you which is being conducted by Dr Gordon Munro, Head of our Inspection and Enforcement Division, we would reply on these points once the review has been completed. 

Yours sincerely,

Dr Keith Jones
Director and Chief Executive


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