I thought about writing a caustic preamble to this latest missive from the MHRA, but then the whole thing's so fucking tedious that, frankly, I felt that it was beneath me to devote the requisite mental energy for a truly lacerating introduction. Anyway, the MHRA has nothing to say. Seemingly, it is a body with no knowledge and no ideas, and no hope of securing either of those things. Either that, or it's as corrupt as fuck. This to the Ministry of Truth, copied to Vara, blind copied to lots of people (the MHRA's Great Words of Wisdom are emboldened, as usual):
Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for your prompt reply, and for taking patient concerns over the drugs that they use so seriously. Particularly those patients who are giving you earache over drugs that they believe to be snake oil remedies.
The issue of the way in which the MHRA assesses drugs is a new one, in that the MHRA has not chosen ever to answer the query, in the first place. I don't believe that the way in which drugs are assessed for marketing in the UK could be any more substantive. Perhaps you could give me a checklist of "substantive" items that the MHRA would be prepared to answer - it has already refused to confirm its assessment process, and the benefit to be taken from both fluoxetine and paroxetine? Frankly, I'm struggling to understand what it will discuss.
In fact, on that note, I rather suspect that the MHRA has nothing at all to discuss with me, on any subject. And I rather think I know why, but that would be for another day. Regrettably, that means that I have nothing to discuss with you (pl), because that seems to be the only level of agreement that we can reach. I regret that your methodology is anything but sophisticated - tant bloody pis!
Subject: RE: FOI 08/064 - FW: Fluoxetine
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 13:04:43 +0100
Dear Mr Holford
Thank you for your e-mail of 19 March.
You reference one of the documents we previously sent you, and in particular the phrase "if used in its specified way"; and ask whether this phrase was included by a scientist or a lawyer. The document which you refer to was in fact developed through a consultation process which included people working for the MHRA itself as well as a range of stakeholders from outside the Agency (including patients and consumers). To attribute any one particular phrase or part of the document to a specific individual is therefore difficult and potentially misleading.
In relation to the other questions you pose, we have nothing to add to our earlier response. Unless you raise substantive new matters, we will not be responding to further correspondence on this issue.
MHRA Information Centre