In 2005, the Health Select Committee Report outlined the problems with the MHRA. Dr Aubrey Blumsohn (who is not a psychiatrist and yet has similar concerns about the regulation of ‘medical’ drugs) sets this out well, and you can read about it here:
The report did not mince words when it came to the MHRA:
“The Government, like the MHRA, has tended to assume that all is for the best…”
“The MHRA relies on company data, presented as a series of detailed assessment reports, in its decision whether or not to licence a drug. Raw data is very rarely analysed”.
“The regulatory authority, which is responsible for controlling much of the behaviour of the industry has significant failings. Lack of transparency has played a major part in allowing failings to continue. The traditional secrecy in the drug regulatory process has insulated regulators from the feedback that would otherwise check, test and stimulate their policies and performance. Failure can be measured by the MHRA’s poor history in recognising drug risks, poor communication and lack of public trust. Regulatory secrecy also underpins publication bias, and other unacceptable practices. The closeness that has developed between regulators and companies has deprived the industry of rigorous quality control and audit.”
“Worryingly, in both its written and oral evidence the Agency seemed oblivious to the critical views of outsiders and unable to accept that it had any obvious shortcomings … The Agency’s attitude to its public health responsibilities suggested some complacency and a lack of requisite competency…”
Despite this report on the MHRA being published in 2005, as we move into 2007 has any action taken by the government?
None at all.
Download the report here – just scroll down to 5 April 2005, Fourth Report, “The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry”