Social Audit Ltd
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Mark Sampson MBChB MRCGP, Acting Medical Director  
Research & Development Phramaceuticals UK  
SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals  
Mundells, Welwyn Garden City  
HERTS AL7 1EY 8 May 1997

Dear Dr Sampson,

Thank you for your letter of 25th April. I am sorry for the delay in responding, but your letter arrived only today, at the end of a one week postal strike in North London.

I was briefly amused by your implied suggestion that I might be inciting you to breach the industry’s code of practice, but honestly I wasn’t. I can see nothing in the Code which should prevent you from responding openly to my request, but I’ll reconsider if you cite chapter and verse. Incidentally, are you familiar also with the ABPI guidelines on disclosure on information?

I was not asking for any items of a promotional nature, and would have been dismayed to receive them. I also feel concerned that you should so describe your product monograph on paroxetine, or believe that it would have been appropriate to respond to my enquiries with anything less than the "scrupulous regard for truth" to which the IFPMA Code refers. Moreover, it must have been clear to you, from the terms of my letter of 31 January to Ms Jones, that my enquiries related to professional concerns, and was in no sense a request for information on personal medical matters. For the record, I feel fine.

If only because your response sets your company far apart from all other pharmaceutical companies I have approached, I do suggest you get a second opinion. In the meantime, I am enclosing with compliments a copy of a recent paper on Secrecy and Medicines which might just be of interest and use to you.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Medawar


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Correspondence with pharmaceutical companies