Friday, 12 October 2007

Trim Bossy Quibblers

I'm not quite sure what publishing my latest exchange with the MHRA is likely to achieve, but I've got nothing to better to do, just at the minute.

Should it be that the gentle reader has any evidence of dodgy payments, you know where to take your concerns:

From: Matthew Holford
Sent: 11 October 2007 13:53
To: MHRA Information Centre
Subject: RE: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Many thanks. I don't have any such evidence, as it happens - must just be in the US, then.

Best regards

Matthew Holford


Subject: FW: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 12:42:41 +0100
To: Matthew Holford

Dear Mr Holford,

Thank you for this enquiry.

The Medicines (Advertising) Regulations 1994 prohibit the offer of any gift or inducement to prescribe or supply medicines unless it is inexpensive and relevant to the practice of medicine or pharmacy. The offer of money to doctors to prescribe drugs off-label would therefore be prohibited. The MHRA routinely investigates any complaints received about possible breaches of this legislation.

We are not aware that the above mentioned company is paying doctors to prescribe drugs off-label in the UK but if you have evidence that this is taking place then we would be prepared to investigate it under the legislation on advertising medicines.

Please contact us again if you need further assistance with this, or any other queries.

Kind Regards,

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


From: Matthew Holford
Sent: 02 October 2007 01:50
To: MHRA Information Centre
Cc: [Alan Johnson], [Shailesh Vara]
Subject: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dear Sir or Madam,

Is the MHRA aware as to whether the abovecaptioned company is paying doctors to prescribe drugs off-label, in the UK?

Best regards

Matthew Holford

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