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Statement on the position of Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge,
Chairman, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

"Professor Breckenridge’s resignation would seem entirely appropriate; in my view, he owes it to the public and, in particular, to Richard Brook and the users he speaks for. I believe Breckenridge must and will resign. His employment for many years as an adviser to the manufacturers of Seroxat, and his present status as top man in the UK drug regulatory system seem quite incompatible. In its repeated investigations of Seroxat and related products, the medicines control system performed abjectly and failed the public for years, doing all it could to deny this was so. The prospect of even modest Parliamentary scrutiny makes Breckenridge’s position seem untenable: he is very much first in the firing line and would surely not get political support. Should Professor Breckenridge decide to resign, I believe it would credit his integrity. I would very much welcome it, in the interests of accountability and trying to move on."

Charles Medawar
16 March 2004