Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events Following Mefloquine Exposure Presentation

Remington Nevin filed this request with the Defense Health Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2016-064
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

An unredacted copy of the undated presentation titled "Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events Following Mefloquine Exposure", authored by the Senior Managing Epidemiologist, Division of Epidemiology & Analysis, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), which was sent by email from the official account of Dr. Eick-Cost of AFHSC on August 1, 2014, a redacted copy of which is included on pages 530-566 of a MEDCOM FOIA release available at: https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/2015/10/07/Nevin_-_14-01056_-_Attachments.pdf.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Remington Nevin

From: DHA NCR PCL Mailbox FOIA Requests

Dr. Nevin,

Please see that attached correspondence regarding your FOIA Request. Estimated Completion date for this request is February 15, 2015. Please be advised that this date is merely an estimate and your request may be processed sooner or later than indicated, depending on the complexity of the request. Additionally, the complexity of backlogged cases ahead of your request could also delay the processing of your request.

Please be assured that the DHA FOIA is working as quickly as possible to provide the responsive records per your request.

v/r,
Angela McDowell
Senior Analyst, Axiom Contract Support
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
Main: 703-275-6363

From: Remington Nevin

Dear DHA FOIA Staff,

I wanted to follow up on the status of my FOIA request for a copy of the undated presentation titled "Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events Following Mefloquine Exposure". I originally submitted this request on Nov. 9, 2015. You had assigned it reference number DHA 2016-064 (FOIA).

Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: DHA NCR PCL Mailbox FOIA Requests

Good afternoon,

Please see the attached documents regarding your FOIA request.

v/r
Jessie Ludin
Junior Analyst, Axiom Contract Support
Defense Health Headquarters
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA 22042
Main: 703-275-6363

  • FOIA-2016-064 Nevin Final Response letter_Signed

  • Secure_public_release_16-064 mefloquine_OASDHA_brief_07.28.2014_Redact

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8901 Wisconsin Avenue (Building 27)
Bethesda, MD 20889

Dear Office of the General Counsel,

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act.

I hereby appeal the partial denial of records responsive to this request due to redactions claimed under exemption (b)(5).

The requested records which have been redacted are not subject to exemption under (b)(5) as they are not deliberative in nature and represent final Defence Health Agency (DHA) and Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) work products delivered to external, non-DHA and non-AFHSB customers.

1. Background

On November 9, 2015, I sent a FOIA request to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) for “an unredacted copy of the undated presentation titled ‘Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events Following Mefloquine Exposure’, authored by the Senior Managing Epidemiologist, Division of Epidemiology & Analysis, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), which was sent by email from the official account of Dr. Eick-Cost of AFHSC on August 1, 2014, a redacted copy of which is included on pages 530-566 of a MEDCOM FOIA release available at: https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/2015/10/07/Nevin_-_14-01056_-_Attachments.pdf”. This request was assigned DHA tracking number FOIA 2016-064.

On April 20, 2016, a partially redacted copy of the requested presentation was sent to me in partial fulfillment of this request (see: https://d3gn0r3afghep.cloudfront.net/foia_files/2016/04/20/Secure_public_release_16-064_mefloquine_OASDHA_brief_07.28.2014_Redacted.pdf). The redacted portions included substantive portions of the presentation, including slides titled with various known neuropsychiatric adverse reactions to mefloquine, including “anxiety”, “suicide”, and “insomnia”.

In a letter dated April 20, 2016 (see: https://d3gn0r3afghep.cloudfront.net/foia_files/2016/04/20/FOIA-2016-064_Nevin_Final_Response_letter_Signed.pdf), the DHA claimed that the redacted portions of the presentation “are exempt from release under exemption (b)(5)” due to their being “internal records that are deliberative in nature and part of the decision-making process, containing opinions and recommendations”.

2. Description of Records

The requested records that were subject to redaction represent a final work product distributed to multiple stakeholders outside of AFHSB and DHA. On page 523 of the aforementioned MEDCOM FOIA release, the requested “briefing slides” are included in an email sent to an external organization (MEDCOM) together with the “research protocol (deemed exempt public health research)”, which had itself been reviewed by the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

As described in multiple news reports (e.g. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/elite-army-units-stop-taking-anti-malarial-drug), this research protocol investigating the neuropsychiatric adverse effects of mefloquine was requested by senior military health leadership, and was described as being underway as of September 2013, the final results of which were to be completed by January 2014. The requested slides, sent to external customers August 1, 2014, consist of the final results of the analysis described in this and other news stories.

3. Basis for Appeal

As a final work product shared with external non-DHA and non-AFHSB customers, these slides are not subject to exemption under (b)(5) as they do not contain “opinions and recommendations”, but instead contain objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis. The production of such objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis on behalf of external customers is a primary function of AFHSB.

4. Summary

In summary, I appeal the redaction of portions of the responsive document under claimed exemption (b)(5) on the basis that this exemption is inapplicable. I hereby request a fully unredacted copy of this presentation from AFHSB and DHA at the earliest possible opportunity.

I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8901 Wisconsin Avenue (Building 27)
Bethesda, MD 20889

Dear Office of the General Counsel,

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

Please acknowledge receipt of my appeal of the partial denial referenced above, which I sent to your office April 29, 2016. The partial denial I received from DHA was dated April 20, 2016.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Defense Health Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

Thank you for your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of my appeal related to the partial denial of DHA 2016-064.

In your letter, it is stated that you first received this appeal on April 24, 2016, and then again on June 1, 2016.

I am writing this letter to clarify that my appeal was in fact originally written April 29, 2016. It should have been received by your office shortly thereafter.

It is my understanding that my appeal remains under review. Please advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your deliberations and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of my appeal related to the partial denial of DHA 2016-064.

In your letter, it is stated that you first received this appeal on April 24, 2016, and then again on June 1, 2016.

I am writing this letter to clarify that my appeal was in fact originally written April 29, 2016. It should have been received by your office shortly thereafter.

It is my understanding that my appeal remains under review. Please advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your deliberations and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Please be advised that much of the material which appears to be the subject of this request, and which has previously been redacted, has recently been published by the authors in a peer-reviewed manuscript. This should affect the basis for the initial redaction and withholding of responsive material.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of my appeal related to the partial denial of DHA 2016-064.

In your letter, it is stated that you first received this appeal on April 24, 2016, and then again on June 1, 2016.

I am writing this letter to clarify that my appeal was in fact originally written April 29, 2016. It should have been received by your office shortly thereafter.

It is my understanding that my appeal remains under review. Please advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your deliberations and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Please be advised that much of the material which appears to be the subject of this request, and which has previously been redacted, has recently been published by the authors in a peer-reviewed manuscript. This should affect the basis for the initial redaction and withholding of responsive material.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Partial Denial of Defense Health Agency Control Number 2016-064 (FOIA)

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of my appeal related to the partial denial of DHA 2016-064.

In your letter, it is stated that you first received this appeal on April 24, 2016, and then again on June 1, 2016.

I am writing this letter to clarify that my appeal was in fact originally written April 29, 2016. It should have been received by your office shortly thereafter.

It is my understanding that my appeal remains under review. Please advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your deliberations and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Please be advised that much of the material which appears to be the subject of this request, and which has previously been redacted, has recently been published by the authors in a peer-reviewed manuscript. This should affect the basis for the initial redaction and withholding of responsive material.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

Files

pages

Close