Letter: Ecstasy v Prozac

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Sir: In the article "Ecstasy and the agony" (Section Two, 15 November), Polly Toynbee asks what the difference is between a licensed medicine, such as Prozac, and a "street drug", such as Ecstasy. One very important difference is that licensed medicines have undergone extensive and rigorous testing in clinical trials. The results of these trials are then reviewed by regulatory authorities, such as the Medicine Control Agency here in the UK, which must satisfy itself as to the safety, efficacy and quality of any proposed new medicine before granting it a licence.

Ecstasy, by contrast, is an illegal drug that is not licensed for the treatment of any medical condition.

Yours faithfully,

Joanna Nakielny

Associate Medical Director

Lilly Industries

Basingstoke, Hampshire

15 November