HC Deb 13 December 1954 vol 535 cc1385-6
9. Mr. H. A. Price

asked the Minister of Health whether in view of recently expressed medical opinion details of which have been sent to him, he will reconsider his Department's rejection of the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Lewisham, West, in August this year, that small quantities of suitable emetics might usefully be incorporated in dangerous drugs to prevent fatalities from over dosage.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I think this is more appropriately a matter for the medical profession than for me, and in any case I have no authority to give effect to the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Price

Does my right hon. Friend realise that during the last five years there have been over 3,000 deaths from this cause, including nearly 100 children —one-third accidental and two-thirds suicidal? Does he not think that he might take an interest in the implementation of so simple a remedy when there have been so many tragedies?

Mr. Macleod

I think that the hon. Member greatly over-simplifies the problem. So far as legislation with regard to dangerous drugs is concerned, that is a matter for the Home Secretary. All I did in correspondence with my hon. Friend was to point out the view of the professions concerned towards the proposal, which is that there is nothing new in it, and there are, in fact, very grave dangers indeed.