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Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge CBE
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ

9 April 2005


Dear Sir Alasdair, 

Quite by chance, I was yesterday sent a copy of your entry in the 2004 edition of Debrett’s People of Today, in which your recreations are listed as "golf, stockmarket". On checking, I found the reference to your interest in the stockmarket goes back several years.

You will appreciate why I am writing. As a senior regulator with routine access to price-sensitive and insider information about healthcare companies, the need to be, and be seen to be, impartial is obvious. The regulatory failures and the lack and leadership and discipline in the MHRA, to which the Parliamentary Health Committee (para 376) recently referred, underline the importance of this.

I should be grateful for any reassurance you may be able to give. I am of course aware of the interests you publicly disclosed as a member of the CSM but these do not cover family members. I would welcome information on how, during your long association with the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, you managed to avoid possible conflicts arising from your recreational interest in the stockmarket. In particular, please could you let me know whether you or any members of your family have ever traded stock in any regulated or related company over this period?

I look forward to your reply but, if I have not heard from you by the end of the week, I shall assume you would not want to comment.

Yours sincerely,
Charles Medawar