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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Fiona Lindsley as the new independent monitor for entry clearance refusals without the right of appeal. Her appointment is for two years. Ms Lindsley brings a wealth of experience in the immigration field. We look forward to working closely with her to ensure that we are offering a fair service to our visa clients.
I should also inform the House that the independent monitor's report for 2003 (which covers decisions taken in 2002) has been delayed because of the lengthy recruitment process. Ms Lindsley has agreed to complete it by 31 May 2004 and I shall of course present it as usual to the House. The timetable for the 2004 report remains the same, and it will be available by 30 November 2004.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Lord Hunt's answer, in January 2003, in which he stated that the product licence summary of product characteristics (SPC) documentation for anthrax vaccine stated that "the vaccine should be used alone" was correct at that time. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency later approved (in April 2003) an amendment to the product licence SPC documentation on the recommendation of the Committee on Safety of Medicines. This amendment,
Lord Warner: The review of the information contained in the summary of product characteristics for the anthrax vaccine (undertaken in February and March 2003) relating to concomitant use with other vaccines or medicinal products was initiated by the Medicines Control Agency (now Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) and was not undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Defence.
This review followed the Parliamentary Question relating to the position of the anthrax vaccine in 199091, tabled by my noble friend Lord Morris of Manchester on 22 January 2003, and an interim Answer given by my noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach) on 4 February 2003 at column WA 26.
On 9 October 2003 Lord Bach responded to this Question at cols. WA 6779. It was in response to the issues raised in this Question that the MCA (now MHRA) asked the Committee on Safety of Medicines to review the information contained within the summary of product characteristics relating to the concomitant use of the anthrax vaccine with other vaccines and medicinal products to ensure that the information given was clear, up to date, took account of all the currently available scientific data, and consistent with the approach taken with other vaccines.
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