§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the Committee on Safety of Medicines requires business interests to be declared by its members; and whether its rules permit members to act as consultants for pharmaceutical companies and to receive remuneration for this work.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines are required to observe a code of practice which permits members—but not the chairman —to hold consultancies in the pharmaceutical industry. The code requires that members inform the head of the medicines division of our Department of any relevant financial interest, including such consultancies. Members are also required to declare interests whether direct or indirect, in the company or the product at committee meetings and where they have a direct interest to take no part in the discussion. Such declarations are entered in the minutes of the meeting.