Intended for healthcare professionals


Open letter to Annette King, Minister of Health, New Zealand

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:51
  1. Andrew Herxheimer, emeritus fellow (
  1. UK Cochrane Centre London N3 2NL

    EDITOR—We learn with great concern that Medsafe [the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority], a part of your ministry, intends to stop funding the intensive medicines monitoring programme (IMMP) next year.

    In its 27 years' work the IMMP has contributed very valuably to the safety of medicines in New Zealand and worldwide. Drug regulatory agencies in other countries and professionals working on the safety of medicines have admired and envied it because it has so successfully identified previously unrecognised adverse reactions, measured risks, and identified risk factors. For example, it enabled New Zealand to lead the world in taking regulatory action over agranulocytosis due to mianserin and liver toxicity due to nefazodone.1 2

    Many drug disasters have shown that it is unsafe …

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