HC Deb 12 November 1917 vol 99 cc58-9W

asked the Minister of Reconstruction whether, in view of the readjustment of trade relations owing to the War, he will take steps to procure the use by the public of the names of chemical substances formerly made by patented processes and now registered as trade marks by alien enemies?


I will consider the hon. Member's suggestion.


asked the Comptroller of the Household, as representing the National Health Insurance Commissioners, whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused in the prescribing of medicines under the medical benefit of the National Insurance Acts by the continuance, by means of registered trade marks, of the monopoly by alien enemies of the names of drugs and chemicals made by processes formerly the subject of letters patent; whether he is aware that this continued monopoly of the names of chemical substances made by expired patents increases the cost of drugs chargeable to the Drug Fund established by the National Insurance Acts; and whether he will make representations to the Board of Trade that such names should be removed from the register of trade marks, or that the Board of Trade should otherwise use its powers to see that manufacturers and the public are able freely to use the names of the chemical substances referred to?


It is the duty of the doctor attending an insured person to prescribe the proper and sufficient drugs and medicines that are necessary for the efficient treatment of the case. I am not aware of difficulties of the kind suggested in the question having been occasioned in the work of national health insurance, but if the hon. Baronet will furnish me with particulars of the circumstances he has in mind I will cause inquiries to be made. The points raised in the last part of the question are already being considered by the Board of Trade, as stated by my right hon. Friend to-day, in reply to another question by the hon. Member.