Social Audit   Ltd
P O Box 111 London NW1 8XG
Telephone/Fax 44 (0) 207 586 7771
[email protected]


Dr June Raine, Director
Post-Licensing Division
Medicines Control Agency
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ

10 March 2003

        Dear Dr Raine,

Thank you for your letters of 4 March. My FAX machine has not recovered from your 16-page letter on advertising; nor indeed have I. But thank you for the information you put together, un-illuminating as it was.

In your letter on SSRIs, you suggest the possibility of a meeting. I do not think much would be gained by meeting to discuss SSRIs, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if there are any specific issues on which you seek an opinion or advice. I would certainly try to help. In the meantime, I would not want to forestall our referral to the Ombudsman. The MCA’s indifference towards the experiences of users and the opinions of non-scientists, and its reliance on the usual experts, both merit further enquiry. They seem to have played a significant part in the perpetuation of this mess.

Andrew Herxheimer and I – possibly Dr Healy too - would be pleased to learn more about your proposals to develop patient reporting through NHS Direct, with a view to discussing what might be done to help make them work well. Your invitation to meet would be that much more attractive if you could provide any previously circulated document(s) to indicate your thinking and proposals thus far. If the MCA really wants to consult us, we should know what we are being consulted about. That would give us the opportunity to prepare our contribution for this meeting; it would also reassure us that our input would be timely and could make some difference. The government has announced that patient reporting is to be launched in April; this makes us wonder if the concrete is already set.

P.S. I wasn’t joking about the FAX machine; while receiving your letter it choked and then expired. I’d be grateful if you could use email instead.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar

Contents page
List of correspondence with MCA/CSM