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Ssri Drugs

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the inquiry into SSRI drugs will recommence; and what measures will be taken to ensure the impartiality of the investigating committee. [108010]

The appropriate membership of the new Committee on the Safety of Medicines expert group on the safety of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) is currently being considered in light of the further work that is required, as well as further legal advice on interests in the particular circumstances of this class review. This review remains a high priority and will recommence as soon as the membership of this expert group has been finalised.Members of the Medicines Act advisory committees such as the CSM are required to follow a code of practice relating to declarations of interests in the pharmaceutical industry. The code provides for the cases in which interests must be declared and when members with certain interests may not take part in proceedings. The provisions of the code will be taken into account when the new CSM expert group is appointed and the members will be required to comply with the code.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that the new Committee on Safety of Medicine inquiry into selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs takes into account the experience of patients. [108315]

The new Committee on Safety of Medicines expert group which is being appointed to further review of the safety of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) will consider the current available evidence relating to the safety of SSRIs, particularly in relation to suicidal behaviour and withdrawal reactions. The panel will be taking into account patients' views and experiences during this review.