Social Audit Ltd
P O Box 111 London NW1 8XG
Telephone/Fax 44 (0)171 586 7771
socialaudit@gn.apc.org   http://www.socialaudit.org.uk

 

Mrs. A Thyer, Executive Support
Medicines Control Agency
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ

2 December 1999

Dear Mrs Thyer,

Thank you for your letter of 23 November (Ref OG 99/46) telling me that Mr Alder is unable to reply to my letter of 26 October within the 20 day period specified in the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Here then is a complaint about another advertisement - for Efexor XL (venlafaxine, Wyeth). It appears on the back page of the British Medical Journal (Classified) for 27 November 1999. The advertisement prominently claims that, in depression, this product has "efficacy superior to the leading SSRI" and "is nearly twice as effective as fluoxetine in eradicating the symptoms of depression".

Is the MCA satisfied that this advertisement for Efexor XL "is not inconsistent with the particulars contained in the Data Sheet" [Medicines Act, s. 96 (3) (b)], and not "likely to mislead as to the nature or quality … or effects" of this drug [s. 93 (7) (b)]? If the MCA is not satisfied, what steps will be taken to enforce these provisions of the Act?

I look forward to hearing from you about this.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar

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List of correspondence with MCA/CSM