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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MHRA - "We see no point in answering questions where you have prejudged the veracity of any answers" THE INTERNAL REVIEW

So, as regular readers will know, the MHRA refused to answer a FOI request I sent them regarding their Chairman, Alasdair Breckenridge - they wrote me saying "We see no point in answering questions where you have prejudged the veracity of any answers".

I had asked three questions:

1. Was the MHRA Chairman, Alisdair Breckenridge unaware at the time of his statement on BBC TV's Panorama that the clinical trial results actually DID show that there was a high rate of suicide attempts in adults during the first ten weeks? If so, why?

2. Would Alisdair Breckenridge or the MHRA be prepared to now state that based on fresh new evidence, we believe that Seroxat DOES cause suicide in adults? If no, why?

3. As the Glenmullen report clearly shows there is a high risk of suicide in adults over the age of 25, do you think it reasonable that either Alistair Breckenridge or the MHRA publically apologise to all those patients and patients families whom have suffered at the hands of this drug?

The MHRA told me:

----- Original Message -----
From: MHRA Information Centre
To: fiddaman64
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
9:59 AM
Subject: RE: Suicide attempts

Dear Mr Fiddaman

We note that you have posted your 10 February email to us on your blogsite. You have chosen to headline it with “Dear MHRA... Re: Alisdair Breckenridge lying on national Television”.That headline makes it clear to any reader of your blog that you have already formed an opinion about whatever answer we might give you. It implies that you will not believe anything we say. That is consistent with the way you have responded on your blog to other answers we have given you in the past.

We see no point in answering questions where you have prejudged the veracity of any answers.

MHRA Information Centre

----

Well, as you can imagine I was not too pleased with a response like that so I recently asked for an internal review - once an internal review had been processed (and if I still wasn't happy) then I could write to the Information Commission and lodge a complaint.

So, the MHRA write back to me regarding the internal review:

----- Original Message -----
From: MHRA Information Centre
To: fiddaman
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008
2:52 PM
Subject: RE: Internal review

Dear Mr Fiddaman

Thank you for your recent request for an internal review in respect of our reply to your enquiry (dated 10/02/08).

An internal review -in line with the Freedom of Information Act- is inappropriate in this case because the request was not dealt with under that Act. The Freedom of Information Act requires a public authority to consider the release of information it actually holds.

Addressing your request specifically:

MHRA doesn't record information relating to what an individual member of staff may or may not be aware of at any given time. In the absence of such a record, we are unable to provide you with this information.

The other elements of your request again, do not call upon us to consider information held, but rather to engage in further dialogue. Consequently, your request was handled outside of the Act.

Kind Regards,

Central Enquiry Point
Information Centre
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Tel: 020 7084 2000

-----

So basically, they are now answering my original questions? (the three about their Chairman)

Quite why they didn't do this in the first place is quite perplexing.

So, if I'm correct the MHRA are saying that they DO NOT record information to what their members may or may not say? That's right isn't it? Or have I read it wrong?

They continue... "In the absence of such a record, we are unable to provide you with this information."

Ahem, Pardon?

Are they now saying they are not aware what their Chairman said on BBC TV's Panorama?

"...these drugs DO NOT cause suicide, they DO NOT cause suicidal thoughts in adults"

Did the MHRA miss this when it was aired?

Are they not aware that Breckenridge has also gone on record stating, when asked by investigative journalist Shelley Jofre if there may be criminal proceedings against GSK:

"That is a possibility"

At what point did the MHRA know that it would be indeed an impossibility to have criminal proceedings brought against GSK? (I've asked in a separate FOI request)

It would be interesting to learn if Breckenridge knew at the time when interviewed by Shelley Jofre.

Breckenridge has defended the use of Seroxat in adults at every given opportunity, he even went on record in the New Statesman:

"...This idea that the regulators have been hiding the data is just not true. The so-called scandal of Seroxat is something I want to nail every time I speak in front of compatriots because it is absolute rubbish”.

Absolute rubbish eh Alasdair?

From the Glenmullen Report:

PIC 1 - 27 Year Old Woman

PIC 2 - 59 Year Old Man

PIC 3 - 56 Year Old Woman

PIC 4 - 38 Year Old Woman

The list is endless and more can be read HERE

Remember, these were all subjects used in the clinical trials of Seroxat.

So what does the Chairman of the MHRA have to say?

"This idea that the regulators have been hiding the data is just not true. The so-called scandal of Seroxat is something I want to nail every time I speak in front of compatriots because it is absolute rubbish”.

Do you believe in Science Sir?

Do you believe in facts?

Do you take patient experience on board?

Or are the above 'absolute rubbish?'.

----

So, with the MHRA now basically answering my original question, it seems that I am free to 'prejudge the veracity' of any answers they may give me?

Would it not be the simplest of tasks to ask their Chairman whether or not he said what was aired on BBC TV's Panorama?

Did the BBC dub him?

The evidence is clear (God, I'm sounding like Benbow now) - Breckenridge has robustly denied any problem with Seroxat in adults. You are either blind, death or just in plain denial.

I of course, have forwarded my concerns onto the Information Commission.

Fid

Read the new book, The Evidence, However, Is Clear...The Seroxat Scandal

By Bob Fiddaman

ISBN: 978-1-84991-120-7
CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING

AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE


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