HC Deb 13 December 1928 vol 223 cc2316-7
23. Colonel APPLIN

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the waste of medicines due to doses being prescribed in drams and shown on the bottle as tablespoonfuls; and, seeing that the average tablespoon holds 50 per cent. more medicine than four drams, the usual dose, and that on a conservative estimate the resulting waste amounts to over 4,000,000 bottles of medicine if only 10 per cent. of the bottles of medicine supplied under the National Health insurance are used in tablespoon doses, will he consider a regulation requiring all doses to be shown on the bottle in drams or ounces and the use of graduated bottles, or the issue of a cheap medicine glass?


I am advised that the graduated markings on medicine bottles usually indicate half-ounces, that is, four drams, and that the reference on the bottles to tablespoonfuls is intended merely to assist patients in finding a convenient household measure of approximately half an ounce. My investigation of the prescribing of insurance practitioners does not suggest to me that medicines are often repeated before the proper time, which would be the result of the consumption of over-large doses; and as at present advised, I do not think the matter is one in which I am called upon to intervene.