Yesterday [Monday 20 October] UK Parliament broadcast a committee meeting regarding Tamiflu, a prescription medicine used to treat the flu (influenza) in people 2 weeks of age and older.
In January this year, drawing attention to the lack of transparency over the results of clinical trials of the antiviral medicine, stockpiled for use in an influenza epidemic. The Commons Select Committee concluded that the failure of manufacturers to share the full results of clinical trials with doctors, researchers and clinicians, undermined their ability to make informed decisions about treatments and the use of medicines by the NHS.
Yesterdays meeting probed the lack of transparency further.
It’s very interesting particularly as we can see Chief Executive of the MHRA, Ian Hudson, being grilled by Richard Bacon, MP. Hudson was asked just one question but seemed very reluctant to give any straight forward answers.
Basically, the UK government have claimed that it would not be feasible for the full methods and results of clinical trials to be made available to doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Ian Hudson was asked why he thought it was not feasible.
The exchange between Hudson and Richard Bacon, MP reminded me of David Brent, a fictional character played by Ricky Gervais in The Office. Brent, when questioned about his management methods was always evasive – Hudson’s response to Bacon’s question is so very similar. Whereas Brent speaks of pies and charts, Hudson speaks of Freedom of Information requests and policies…without actually answering the question.
Hudson is being really evasive here, just as he was when giving evidence for GlaxoSmithKline in a video deposition back in 2000.  Hudson, was employed as GlaxoSmithKline’s World Safety Officer before eventually landing his role of CEO of the agency that protects the public from unsafe prescription medication.
Time and time again he avoids the question put to him by Bacon, time and time again Bacon reiterates his question, leaving Hudson to waffle on in the style of David Brent. You can even see a man and a woman at the back of the room laugh at Hudson’s avoidance to answer a simple question.
Kind of ironic that Hudson is being grilled by an MP whose surname is Bacon, doncha think? 🙂
Here’s the MHRA’s Ian Hudson playing David Brent yesterday [Skip to 17.44.46] [LINK]
Just like The Office there is no canned laughter.
Now compare with David Brent.