HC Deb 20 October 1969 vol 788 cc750-1
20. Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will announce the composition of the Medicines Commission.

Mr. Crossman

I hope to be able to do so shortly.

Mr. Fisher

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it has taken an extraordinarily long time to set up the Commission—I think, over a year? Can he say how soon it will be in operation, when the expert committees will be appointed and when we can expect the regulations arising out of the Act?

Mr. Crossman

I would accept the adjective "extraordinary". It is extraordinary, but there has been an extraordinarily complicated series of consultations. I did not know that one had to consult so many people about one committee. However, the consultations have been completed. I think that I shall be able to issue some of the invitations in the next week or two and that in late November or early December we will be able to have the first meeting of the Commission. It has, however, taken an unconscionably long time to get it done.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

Can the Secretary of State give any information about the regulations under the Act, to which my hon. Friend referred?

Mr. Crossman

If I can be given a specific Question, I can answer it.

Mr. Macmillan

My hon. Friend asked whether the Secretary of State had any idea when the regulations under the Act would be forthcoming.

Mr. Crossman

When the regulations come into effect will depend partly upon how speedily the Commission gets going, but I hope that immediately we get the Commission actually functioning, we will get the regulations as well.