§ Mr. Haynes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied that, throughout their service, present and past members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines having a connection with a pharmaceutical company have maintained a level of objectivity consistent with their status as committee members; and if he will make a statement;
(2)if he will indicate the length of service on the Committee on Safety of Medicines of each of its members;
(3)if he will take steps to ensure that the Committee on Safety of Medicines is wholly independent in its membership from the pharmaceutical industry;
(4)how many members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines have any connection, financial or otherwise, with pharmaceutical companies; and if he will name them;
(5)if he will name the organisations employing each member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines;
(6)if he will list the current members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 10 May 1985, c. 545-6]: The members of the committee are:109W
Committee Member Period of Service (Years) Position Held professor D.Hull BSC FRCP DObst RCOG DCH 4 Professor of child Health University Hospital & Medical School Nottingham professor H.S. Jacobs BA MD FRCP 1½ Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology The Middlesex Hospital Medical School Dr.B.L.pentecost MD FRCP 1½ Consultant Physican Birmingham professor M.D. Rawlins 6 Professor of Clinical Pharmacology University of Newcastle-upon-Type Dr.J.W.G.Smith MD FRCPath FFCM FI Biol Dip Bact 7 Director, National Institute for Biological standards and Controls London Professor M.P. Vessey MD FFCM FRCP (RD) FRCGP 7 Professor of Social and Community Medicine University of Oxford Dr.D.M.B.Ward MB ChB 1½ General Practitioner Glassgow Professor H.K.Weinbren BSc MD FRCPath 7 Professor of Experimental Pathology Royal Postgraduate Medical School Hammersmith Hospital
I have every reason to believe that members of the committee—for whose work we are most grateful—have maintained the highest level of integrity, objectivity and professional expertise.
Except for the director of the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, which is a Government-financed body, all members of the committee are employed in the academic and National Health Service fields. It is desirable that members in these fields should have a good understanding of the work of the pharmaceutical industry. Members of the committee were informed at the time of their appointment that they are required to declare to the head of our Department's medicines division, in confidence, any consultancies they hold with pharmaceutical companies. Four members of the present committee have done so. Members are also required to declare any interest which they may have in any application or other matter before the committee, and if the interest is a direct one they take no part in the committee's consideration of this item. All such declarations of interest are recorded in the committee's minutes.
The present members of the committee have all been appointed on the basis that declarations of interest would be regarded as confidential and we propose to respect that confidence. We intend to draw up arrangements however whereby, for future appointments to the committee, information about relevant interests can become a matter of public record. I will make a further statement in due course.110W