HC Deb 07 July 1960 vol 626 cc686-7
29. Mr, F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the chairman of the Advertising Inquiry Committee regarding the sale of certain proprietary drug products, whose formulae have been changed since he introduced his recent regulations, although the original brand names have been retained and in some cases similar claims continue to be made by the makers; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Vosper

The chairman of this Committee asked for comments on the situation described in the Question. My right hon. Friend replied that he has no power to control the naming or advertisement of medicinal preparations but that he understands that the Working Party on the law relating to medicinal substances will review statutory restrictions on their advertisement.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Would it not be a good thing if, arising from the work of this Working Party, power were taken? Swindles are being perpetrated on the public on a considerable scale. The firm which makes the drug Persomnia, which may now not be sold without a prescription, has produced a new formula and is marketing it under the same name. There are other instances. Is it not time to take steps to protect the public from frauds of this kind being perpetrated?

Mr. Vosper

I have seen the advertisement to which the hon. Gentleman refers. There may well be something in what he says. It is not a matter for the Poisons Board, but it may well be within the jurisdiction of the Working Party to which he has referred.