HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 c920
49. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the growing feeling in medical circles that "Persomnia" should not be on free sale across the counter but only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner; what official reports he has received regarding it; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I am aware of the publicity that has been given to this preparation and of its alleged abuse in certain cases. I have no official reports upon it, but I am consulting with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department as to whether a further reference to the Poisons Board of bromvaletone and carbromal, the principal ingredients concerned, would be desirable in the light of such general information as is now available.

Mr. Rankin

May I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that information and tell him that I am quite prepared to wait a little? If I put down another question, will he give us the benefit of his inquiry?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would be good enough to keep in touch with me.

Sir H. Linstead

Would not my right hon. and learned Friend agree that this is one of a number of medicines of the same class which, if my memory serves me, got what I might call a clean bill of health some years ago from the Poisons Board? Is it not therefore desirable that we should not damn one particular drug without proper inquiry, particularly in relation to others which are precisely similar?