HC Deb 07 May 1956 vol 552 cc809-10
20. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health what proportion of prescriptions dispensed in 1955 were for proprietaries; and how this compares with the proportion in previous years

Miss Hornsby-Smith

The approximate proportion was 36 per cent. The proportion in previous years increased from 16 per cent. in 1949 to 32 per cent. in 1954

Mr. Blenkinsop

Would it not be accurate Ito say that the proportion in value is almost double that figure? Could the hon. Lady consider means at least of diminishing the flow of advertising matter which comes upon doctors and presses them into prescribing highly expensive and sometimes unnecessary preparations?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

It is fair to say that frequency of prescribing is also as important an element of total cost as is the cost per prescription. A joint committee of the Central and Scottish Health Services Council has classified proprietary preparations according to their therapeutic value. The information is sent to doctors and we are endeavouring to persuade them to use it for the best purpose in efficient and economical prescribing