I read with interest and much consternation the article 'Who said that?' (news focus, page 14, 7 October).

How very sad that Professor Collier should have such a cynical attitude. I urge him to put himself in the position of many multiple sclerosis sufferers and their carers. It will take a quiet five minutes of his time to imagine the plight of these people, then see what steps he would take to obtain beta interferon.

He has the advantage of an academic background, and no doubt within a short time he would have the treatment best suited for his condition.

Most sufferers and their carers are devastated to learn that the very drug that could prove efficacious is not available to them.

I have never met anyone attached to a pharmaceutical company, but I do know about the three companies mentioned in the article. I was present at the launch of Action for Access, and had no idea who the sponsors were - that was not important.

Unless you are in politics or medicine, most people do not know to whom to turn when need arises. I turned to prime minister Tony Blair on Question Time and was told: 'I am not qualified to answer your question.'

So is there any wonder why I and others were grateful that a company with the expertise to address our plight came forth with offers of help?

One has only to look through medical journals to see the advertisements with the names of the pharmaceutical companies involved, so where does the problem lie with Ac t ion for Access?

It is incomprehensible that anyone from any walk of life should even consider approaching the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority.

Perhaps a complainant could spend more time promoting care for those less fortunate than trying to get their voice heard by a complaints committee.

All three companies have licensed drugs which should be available under the NHS, and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence should not be used as a justification for delays.

D M Canning Chalfont St Peter Bucks