Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letter to G Merron MP from Lord Sandwich

Gillian Merron MP,

Under-Secretary of State,

Department of Health 17 December 2009

I am writing to you as the Minister responsible for drugs and drugs policy. You may remember that I asked you a question at the recent meeting of the All-Party Group on the Misuse of Drugs, and I wanted to give you a little more background.

A member of my family has been withdrawing from the prescribed drug clonazepam since last January, and has recently benefited from a cross-over to citalopram followed the advice of Pam Armstrong of CITA in Liverpool. You can imagine the pain and distress that this has caused him, and all my family, over the last few months. During this time he has received no help from the health services, since there are none.

Following exchanges with Baroness Thornton in this House during my question on November 3rd (1) I am well aware that the Department is conducting a review of policy concerning prescribed drugs, with a report to be published ‘later in the spring’. However, with the election coming on and the wide range of issues to be examined, I am very concerned that this review may not be given the priority and resources it deserves.

Accordingly I have put further questions down this week, and I have applied for a short debate in January or early February. I am copying this letter to colleagues in this House, including Lord Williamson, Lord Crisp, Lord Ashley and others who I hope may be able to speak in this debate, and to members of Parliament who have taken an interest in the issue.

Yours sincerely,

Earl of Sandwich


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