This is another attempt by Lewis Macdonald to exploit his position as convener of the Health Committee to feed the media with a scare story. On further checking, I find no slamming.

He has previous. In April, he got Prof Pennington in to tell the Scottish Government what it should be doing about contact tracing.

Here are the opening lines in his report for BBC Scotland today:

MSPs have called for urgent reforms amid “huge concerns” about Scotland’s “incoherent” medicines system. Holyrood’s health committee said there were “serious failings” in the supply of medicines in Scotland, saying the system “fails to put patients first”. Their inquiry found an “almost complete absence of useable data” about whether drugs were effective or even taken.

First, ‘incoherent’, ‘serious failings’, ‘fails to put patients first’ and ‘usable data’ do not appear in the report and there is only one ‘huge concern’ and only about data collection and analysis.

Second, the sources in the key opening paragraph are not reliable. BBC Scotland offer us:

Instead, the system is burdened by market forces, public sector administrative bureaucracyi and reported under resourcingii, inconsistent leadership and a lack of comprehensive, strategic thinking and imaginationiii, allied to an almost complete absence of useable dataiii.

Source i is a single letter from one Director of Pharmacy. It does not contain the words ‘market’ or ‘bureaucracy.’

Source ii is a single letter from one member of the Royal College of GPs (a trade union) in Scotland. There is no mention of ‘under resourcing’ or for that matter ‘under supply.’

Source iii is the report of a previous meeting of the same committee.

The words ‘inconsistent’, ‘leadership’, ‘comprehensive’ and ‘imagination’ do not appear nor does the phrase ‘strategic thinking.’ ‘Strategic’ does appear three times but anything that might suggest a general lack of thinking or planning comes from a single witness who does not seem to represent any wider body.

The word ‘useable’ does not appear. The word ‘data’ appears 63 times and on the first six occasions talks about how ‘we have good data.’ A few later references suggest improvements that would make things ‘easier’ but there is no suggestion of ‘almost complete absence of useable data.’

Fake news?