HL Deb 25 July 1923 vol 54 cc1405-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill I desire to point out that there are certain medical preparations, mainly used for the purpose of injection, the strength and purity of which cannot be tested by chemical analysis. The most important of these are vaccines and certain arsenical preparations, and also animal extracts and insulin. The increasing use of these preparations makes it necessary to establish measures for their control and regulation, so that the public may be insured against danger or accident from their use. This Bill proposes to bring these substances under control, and to allow them only to be manufactured in this country under a licence. The conditions of the licence are to be laid down by a Committee which will consist of the Ministers in charge of the Health Committees in this country, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and they will be assisted by an advisory committee. This Committee will make regulations to deal with the strength and tests of the preparations, and they will vary the list in the Schedule as scientific development dictates.

The testing work will be done by the Medical Research Council, so that there will be no extra expense involved on the Exchequer. Similar provision is made for imported substances. They will only be imported by holders of licences, and when imported they will be subject to the same tests as articles manufactured in this country. The Bill does not interfere with doctors in any way, for it will not apply to a drug prepared by a registered medical practitioner for his own patients or those of another doctor. Foreign countries mostly have this form of control, or some similar form of control. We do not think it should be possible for substances which have been rejected as not up to the standard in the United States to be sold here without any penalty, for that perhaps may cause great danger to people in this country. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Onslow.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.


I do not know whether the noble Earl opposite desires the Committee stage to be put down for Monday or Tuesday?


I meant to have said something on Second Reading, but anything that I should have said would merely have been in support of the Bill. As, however, the hour is so late I thought the noble Earl would prefer that I should not say anything. I do not think there is likely to be any objection to the Bill.


It only affects a few large firms, and I understand they support it.


I think the Committee stage might be put down for Monday.