Letter: BSE inquiry

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The Independent Online
Sir: Dr Stephen Dealler is entitled to his views on the inadequacy or otherwise of the consultation process involved in the BSE problem, but he is quite wrong to state that "pharmaceutical companies were advised not to research methods of treatment".

Decisions by pharmaceutical companies to seek to develop new therapeutic approaches to any disease are a strategic matter for them alone. No external body advises companies not to carry out research.

The pharmaceutical industry and the Medical Research Council took the lead earlier this year to meet and discuss how therapeutic advances made by the industry in other related fields, such as Alzheimer's disease, could be adopted.

Dr Jeff Kipling

Director of Science and Technology

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

London SW1