The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin welcomes any change that will improve the information on which articles are based. When we prepare an article we seek the views of 30–40 consultants, including specialists working in the pharmaceutical industry and in government departments. This arrangement has been hampered by the secrecy requirements of Section 118 of the Medicines Act, which makes it a criminal offence for those handling licensing – essentially members of the CSM and staff at the Medicines Control Agency – to discuss the contents of the licence with anybody except the licence holder (the drug company). Others cannot therefore discover, for example, the safety and efficacy data used when a medicine is licensed or details of the reason for a licence withdrawal.
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