HC Deb 12 February 1913 vol 48 cc963-4W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether, in the event of medical men on the panel being obliged in the interest of the insured person for whom they are prescribing to direct the use of drugs of superior kind and at higher prices than those in the schedule or drugs not included in the schedule, any provision will be made to meet such extra cost beyond the scheduled sum of 1s. 6d. per insured person; if not, whether such extra cost necessary to procure better quality drugs than the cheap, inferior, and non-effective drugs in the schedule will be deducted from the extra 6d. per person which may be paid to the medical practitioner, or how otherwise is the extra cost for efficacious drugs to be met; and (2) whether the Insurance Commissioners have received any protests or complaints with reference to the ineffective and cheap character of the drugs contained in the sche- dules prescribed by them; and whether he is aware that the drugs so scheduled are very inferior to those in use at the principal hospitals and dispensaries of London?


There is no foundation whatever for the suggestion conveyed in these questions that a list of drugs of inferior quality is scheduled for supply to insured persons. No list of drugs at all is scheduled to the Regulations. Each insurance committee is required to draw up its own list of drugs, and the only relevant requirement of the Regulations is that "all drugs and appliances shall be of good quality." In addition to the list of drugs that may ordinarily be supplied, any doctor on the panel is empowered by the Regulations, when he thinks necessary, to prescribe other drugs not included in the list. So far as I am aware there is no ground for the allegation that drugs of inferior quality are being supplied by chemists to insured persons.