HC Deb 04 March 1963 vol 673 c24
41. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health what further advice he has received from the sub-committee of his Standing Medical Advisory Committee, which is considering problems of drug control.

Mr. Powell

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to him on 28th January.

Mr. Robinson

Whilst I agree that we need this advice to be very carefully considered, is the Minister aware that we would like evidence that the subcommittee is treating this matter with the sense of urgency that the problem demands? Can he give any indication when we may expect another statement?

Mr. Powell

I assure the hon. Member and the House that the sub-committee is treating this as a matter of urgency and is working on it and studying it hard. It would be wrong for me to give any precise indication of the date on which I could expect an answer. The urgency is, however, recognised.

Dr. Stross

Can the Minister say whether the sub-committee is empowered to consider each and every aspect of the problem? For example, will it be able to consider whether it is desirable that there should be compulsory notification by the medical profession of the side-effects of all drugs which are commonly in use, so that we should at least have central information as a result of which adequate action could be taken?

Mr. Powell

The sub-committee's terms of reference are very wide and cover any aspect which fairly has a bearing on this problem.