HC Deb 16 November 1950 vol 480 cc1869-70
28. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Minister of Health when he expects to make general use of cortisone in the hospitals.

29. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Health what is his policy with regard to recommendations by doctors for patients to be treated with cortisone.

Mr. Bevan

The use of this drug is still experimental, and wider use must depend on greater knowledge.

Wing Commander Bullus

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the extent of the demand for this drug by general practitioners, and will he comment on the case in my constituency to which I have directed his attention?

Mr. Bevan

I hope that there is no demand for this drug by general practitioners at the moment, because the consequences of taking the drug have not yet been established. Until experiments are concluded, it is not possible to make this drug generally available.

Mr. Russell

Is the Minister aware that, in the case to which my hon. and gallant Friend has drawn his attention, three doctors who knew the patient recommended the use of this drug; that one specialist did not recommend its use, and that the right hon. Gentleman took the advice of the specialist and not of the three doctors?

Dr. Hill

Is the Minister aware that in one experiment in this country some encouraging results have been obtained? Will he do all he can to obtain further supplies of this drug?

Mr. Bevan

I am quite ready to obtain further supplies of the material to enable further experiments to be made, but the hon. Member knows that it is far too early to arouse expectations about the use of this drug.