HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc920-1
51. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give an estimate of the total cost of the National Health Service of the prescription of tranquillisers.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Tranquillisers do not fall into any definite therapeutic class of drugs and I regret that in the circumstances the information is not available.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Does not the Minister feel it desirable that some estimate should be made in view of the anxieties expressed in medical circles about their extended use?

Mr. Walker-Smith

As I have pointed out, estimates are made of the main therapeutic classes of drugs, but this cannot be done for tranquillisers, because owing to the substantial differences in their nature and action they do not fall into a definite class. But the Poisons Board is reviewing the general question of the need for controlling the supply of drugs which may be harmful if taken in excess.