Social Audit Ltd
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Mr Roy Alder, Head of Executive Support
Medicines Control Agency
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ

17 October 1998

Dear Mr Alder,

Thank you for your letter of 14 October, telling me that Dr Munro is to conduct a review. I hope it won't take months but, in the meantime, perhaps I can raise another question about the relationship between the CSM and MCA, which could be relevant to his deliberations.

I understand that the MCA routinely nominate members of the CSM as European Experts, meaning they could become involved in assessing drug license applications routed through the EU system. Could you please let me know if any CSM members have undertaken such work and, if so, whether they have been remunerated for it and by whom? If any CSM members have been so engaged, could you also please give me some idea of the extent of such work undertaken and the amounts paid (collectively) per year?

It seems this could be relevant to the issues Dr Munro will be considering because, if CSM members undertake such work effectively at the invitation of, and/or commissioned by, the MCA, it would again indicate non-separation of powers. This in turn would raise further questions about the propriety and wisdom of having one half of the UK drug control system subject to some disclosure requirements, the other not.

Perhaps you could let me have a representative example of the letter of invitation Dr Jones sends to CSM members, proposing their nomination as European Experts. But apart from this, please don't feel you need to provide detailed chapter and verse about the engagements if any. I can always re-apply if I need such information; in the meantime, I'm simply after a characterisation of the arrangements that now hold.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar


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List of correspondence with MCA/CSM