You are here

Mind wary of government response to drug industry report

5th September 2005

A well known mental health charity has given a mixed opinion on the government's response to the Health Committee Report on the Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Mind, said while the government accepted many of the recommendations made by the committee, there are serious concerns over the lack of commitment to create change.

The charity is also extremely disappointed that several recommendations to improve the transparency of the industry and patient safety had been rejected.

Mind commended the government's stated commitment towards increased openness at the MHRA, the UK drugs watchdog, but said adequate resources, support and training needed to be committed to make this a reality.

Concerns were also raised in relation to disclosure about affiliations between charities and pharmaceutical companies, with mind calling on a legal obligation for charities to disclose any such links.

Richard Brook chief executive of mind said: "While we welcome the government's apparent commitment to improving the accountability of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK, many issues have yet to be resolved.

"We remain concerned at the pharmaceutical industry's close relationships with government and the MHRA, and feel the criticism levelled at the government by ministers on the Health Committee should have been a catalyst for major reform.

"As recent experiences with Seroxat and Vioxx have shown, profit is too often put before the patient - with potentially lethal consequences."