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Claire Rayner, President,
The Patients' Association,
P.O. BOX 935
Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3YJ 19 January 2000

Dear Claire Rayner,

Further to my letter of 16 November, I am now enclosing a copy of the decision of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, in response to our complaint about Detrusitol. As I said in my letter of 26 October, the claims made for Detrusitol (tolterodine) in advertising to doctors seemed to us very far-fetched, given the evidence that fewer than two patients in ten experienced "no or minimal bladder problems after treatment" with this product - barely more than the numbers who recovered without the drug (i.e. on placebo).

The Authority has now upheld our complaint about Detrusitol under Clause 7.2 of their Code: "Information, claims and comparisons must be accurate, balanced, fair, objective and unambiguous and must be based on an up-to-date evaluation of all the evidence and reflect that evidence clearly. They must not mislead either directly or by implication".

I hope you will now feel able to respond to the points I raised in my earlier letters. It would no longer seem credible to echo the views of Pharmacia and Upjohn, that "we can't reasonably contest the rights of patients to be better informed about their treatment" and that "pharmaceutical companies are best placed to ensure that accurate information is given to patients wishing to know more".

I am also writing to the Director of the Patients' Association, with copies of this correspondence. Even if you decide not to respond, I hope you will encourage the Association to do so.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar


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