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Saturday, September 18, 2010

EDM Calls for Breckenridge to Leave MHRA

Alasdair Breckenridge asked to consider his "position" at the MHRA


I just love the wording of the latest Early Day Motion [EDM] put forward by MP Jim Dobbin.

EDM 761 reads:

That this House compliments BBC Panorama and reporter Shelley Jofre for exposing the dangers of GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia; regrets the heart attacks and strokes as side effects of Avandia suffered by thousands of patients; deplores the negligence of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in again withholding safety information from patients; requests Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, Chairman of MHRA and former member of a scientific advisory board at GlaxoSmithKline, to consider his position; and calls on the Department of Health to implement the recommendations of the 2004-05 Health Select Committee Report on the Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry and in particular its recommendation for an independent review of the MHRA.

Whilst I echo Jim's sentiments here, I must, however, question the wording regarding MHRA Chairman, Alasdair Breckenridge.

Jims writes; "...requests Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, Chairman of MHRA and former member of a scientific advisory board at GlaxoSmithKline, to consider his position."

Breckenridge has a position?

Oh yeh, we all know his position.

Here is his position with regard to Seroxat:

It's taken from The New Statesman in [2005].

“If you go back – and I read this out to the Health Select Committee – to the data sheet on Seroxat when it was licensed in 1991, we spelt out word for word the problems of withdrawal from Seroxat, in words that we could not improve now. 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”.

And here is his somewhat less than convincing performance in front of the camera.

Breckenridge's performance was cringing, for those at the MHRA at least.

Red face, stuttering, long silences and staring into space whilst being grilled by BBC TV's Shelley Jofre.

Chairman? What exactly does Alasdair chair?

Breckenridge was a member of a scientific advisory committee of GSK, then SmithKline Beecham, from 1992 to 1997.

Here he is, along with GSK's Alistair Benbow, defending Seroxat.



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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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