HC Deb 15 March 1951 vol 485 cc1742-3
20. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the Minister of Health what steps are being taken to encourage medical practitioners and hospitals to use equivalent remedies laid down by his Department in preference to patent medicines; and what is the estimated value of patent remedies still being prescribed under the health service.

Mr. Marquand

All doctors, both in general practice and in hospitals, have been asked to prescribe in accordance with the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Prescribing. I am in consultation with the British Medical Association on the question of what further information or advice would be helpful to doctors. I regret that the information requested in the second part of the Question is not available.

Mr. Cooper

Since my right hon. Friend will be very well aware that many of these patent remedies have little or no medicinal value, does he not think he should go further and eliminate the high cost of most of these patent medicines by forbidding their use in the Health Service?

Mr. Marquand

There is no intention of forbidding it, but as I say, I am in consultation with professional opinion which, naturally, is very favourable to the use of the types of prescription laid down in the British formulary.

Sir H. Williams

Does that also apply to M. and B. which, I believe, is a product of a proprietary firm and which has been used by a large number of hon. Members opposite?

Mr. Marquand

It certainly is not a patent medicine, and that is the point to which my hon. Friend referred.