Mind launches online petition on the role of the medicines regulator
Posted Sunday 3 October 2004
Mind launches online petition on the role of the medicines regulator.
Tonight BBC’s Panorama will broadcast a major investigation into the regulation and safety of medicines in the UK. To mark the occasion, mental health charity Mind is urging members of the public to express their views on the issue through an online petition.
Mind has consistently campaigned for a more open and consumer focused regulatory process in the wake of revelations about the effectiveness and safety of the antidepressant Seroxat.
Earlier this year, Mind’s Chief Executive, Richard Brook, resigned from an expert group advising the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) on the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs(*1). He revealed that the regulator had failed to act on data in its possession indicating that thousands of people had been prescribed potentially harmful doses of Seroxat.
The petition will be going live to coincide with the programme’s broadcast at 10:15pm Sunday evening.
Richard Brook, Chief Executive of Mind said,
"Antidepressants can play a valuable role in combating severe depression, particularly if used alongside non-drug treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy."
"However it is vitally important that these medicines are both safe and effective. We need a regulatory system that can ensure this, not one that protects the interests of the pharmaceutical industry more than it does the British consumer."
"We would like to stress that anyone with concerns about their medication should contact a doctor before taking any further course of action. On no account should anyone simply stop taking an antidepressant such as Seroxat without medical advice."
(*1) SSRIs: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors