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Campaigner is given cold shoulder
February 15, 2001
by Janice Barker
An Oldham tranquilliser campaigner has been cold-shouldered by the Medicines Control Agency. Mr Barry Haslam, a tireless campaigner and letter writer has been told his inquiries are vexatious and unreasonable. And a senior civil servant, has refused to acknowledge or reply to his letters in the future.
Mrs Leigh Henderson, a scientific assessor was replying to four letters in December and one in January from the former accounting technician from Uppermill. She acknowledged there was a large volume of correspondence and said: "Having reviewed that, nothing further is to be gained from continuing.
"It is our view that your inquiries are vexatious and manifestly unreasonable in their nature. Therefore, unless any further correspondence from you raises new issues, that correspondence will be neither answered nor acknowledged."
Mr Haslam, who recently helped organise the UK's first international conference on benzodiazepine addiction after 10 years dependence on Ativan, has now called for an internal MCA review.
He has told Mrs Henderson: "As an 80 per cent severely disabled person who has permanent brain, thyroid and central nervous system injuries entirely caused by 10 years of benzodiazepine drug ingestion, legally prescribed by doctors, I find your comments disgusting, pathetic, obscene, cowardly and typical of your profession's arrogance and lack of humility."
Today he said: "I am asking questions for thousands of people who cannot do it for themselves. "Now I am asking pertinent questions about new issues and potentially revealing questions, they want to shut me up. "I have asked for a review by a senior officer, and if I don't get any joy I will go my MP and ask for the Ombudsman to investigate."
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