HC Deb 17 February 1959 vol 600 cc183-4
29. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many applications he has received under Section 41 of the Patents and Designs Act, 1949, by British companies for licences to manufacture aureomycin, tetracycline and terramycin, at present being manufactured wholly by British based subsidiaries of United States firms; and if he is satisfied that the present system of restricted production accords with the official policy in this matter.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

No applications have been received. My right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health welcomes competition in the supply of drugs, but the Comptroller can only consider such applications for manufacturing licences as he receives.

Dr. Mabon

Is the Minister of State aware that he himself is showing early symptoms of influenza today and that these drugs would be useful in the treatment of that condition? Would he recognise that many manufacturers are quite unaware of the existence of the opportunity afforded by this branch of legislation? Does he not consider that his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade should, as a matter of duty, draw to the attention of manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry the possibility of taking advantage of this so that we can bring down prices?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I am grateful to the hon. Member for his sympathy. If anything, I am suffering from the aftermath of an antibiotic. I will note what the hon. Member says, but the facilities are there for those who wish to use them.