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Claire Rayner, President,
The Patients' Association,
P.O. BOX 935
Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3YJ 14 February 2000

Dear Claire Rayner,

Thank you for your letter of 1st February. I get the impression you have overcome some of your earlier reservations about publicity for this correspondence on the Social Audit website.

I read your letter after receiving important new information. Since I last wrote, I learned that the US Food and Drug Administration served enforcement notices on Pharmacia & Upjohn about illegal and misleading claims for "Detrol" (Detrusitol, tolterodine), on four separate occasions, in 1998/99.

I'm enclosing details (see also copy letter to the MCA). Don't choke on them. Just wonder if there might be a profound difference between hating pharmaceutical companies and reasoning that some aspects of their behaviour are unacceptable, and that some of their impacts may be damaging to health.

I know you have long fought many good and important battles, and I admire that you do so with passion and guts and great success. I would not want to distract you from that - but perhaps you could try harder to accept, as a general proposition, that we need to be thinking much more deeply and critically about the impact of DTC advertising and the influence of commercial sponsorship on health. The Patients Association certainly seems to be sailing very close to the wind. Other organisations, following its example, might well capsize. All I've ever proposed is a two-year moratorium on DTC advertising, to give everyone space and time to examine the issues. Perhaps you and The Patients' Association could press for that?

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar


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