If patients suffering from alcohol and drug dependency were to sue purchasers because of research findings being ignored in the formation of policy, as Iain Chalmers suggests (Letters, 9 April), a number of health authorities and social services departments might have to camp out in court.

When short-term financial anxieties dominate the purchasing mind, effective interventions can all too easily be disregarded for reasons of cost.

Mind you, those contemplating legal action should also take into account purchasing policies formed on the basis of research findings that are deftly distorted or misinterpreted simply to suit budgets.

We work in an area where price is everything and value close to nothing.

Nick Barton, Director, Clouds, Salisbury.