HC Deb 04 July 1938 vol 338 cc30-1
47. Mr. David Adams

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as representing the Lord President of the Council, whether he is aware that the firm of May and Baker, Limited, are obliged to refuse requests for supplies of newly-discovered chemical compounds, because of the dangers involved, until further research has been carried out; and what steps he is taking to expedite the necessary research in this and similar cases?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Earl Winterton)

It is the ordinary and necessary practice in the case of new drugs that they should in the first place be subjected by specialists to carefully controlled trials, as regards their value and safety, in order to ascertain whether the medical results warrant production on a large scale for general distribution. The hon. Member may have particularly in mind a new compound which is being tried in the treatment of pneumonia, and about which the firm named recently published a statement that the work was still in an experimental stage. The manufacturers have not so far thought it necessary to seek the aid of the Medical Research Council in this case, but it is understood that the requisite investigations are in active progress.

Mr. Adams

Does the Minister not agree that in this very vital matter the Government ought to take a supervisory interest and, if necessary, give monetary or other assistance in the matter?

Earl Winterton

No, Sir.