The first annual meeting of the Medicines Control Agency questioned the policy of holding all review procedures of new drugs in secret and considering the results highly confidential. According to a news item in the Lancet, "The standard of its judgments needs to be monitored with published details of the evidence for and against approval."
The meeting emphasized the need for creating some accountability in the MCA so that it is not seen as rubberstamping the drug company's aims. This concern, the Lancet added, was heightened by the praise heaped upon MCA director Keith Jones (formerly of drug company Merck, Sharp and Dohme). In fact, the entire conference, said the report, "had the air of an expensive public relations exercise for the pharmaceutical industry."