Sounds impressive, huh?
Paul Flynn MP has written about the way drug companies ‘interact’ with Parliament here.
I’m revisiting this particular subject after reading an interview from April 2005 on the website epolitix.com
In the interview a Depression Alliance (DA) spokesman talks about the good work of the all party parliamentary group (APPG) on Depression and agrees that DA works closely with APPG.
Once again I have to report that I am skeptical about all this.
As I have said before, the APPG on Depression was never registered and as far as I can tell never did any work at all.
A colleague has informed me that the erstwhile Chair of the Group, Laura Moffat MP wrote (in April 2006) that “The Depression Alliance and I were very keen to get the group off the ground. We had a couple of meetings to attract Members and the General Election arrived.  I still hope a group will start but I am to say the least overstretched at the moment.”
So we have established the APPG never actually started work.
That’s fine – but what annoys me is when organisations are happy to claim they have connections and service the work of the group in some way and certain individuals claim on their CV to have “managed the secretariat function” of this non-existent group.
In the accounts filed by Depression Alliance for the year ended March 31 2005, we are told that “The All Party Group was funded Eli Lilly and Co and has a remit of putting forward depression as a parliamentary issue.”
The amount of Lilly’s restricted donation (to fund the APPG) was £17,200 – of which a whopping £15,834 was spent in the year up to March 31 2005. Is it just me or does that seem quite a lot to spend on “…couple of meetings to attract Members…”
I wonder how the £15,834 was accounted for?
Eli Lilly and Depression Alliance had a very close working relationship in those days, so perhaps Lilly was happy to write off its ‘restricted donation’.