§ Mr. Russell
asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement regarding his negotiations about the price of proprietary preparations.
§ Mr. Vosper
The Government has now accepted in principle a scheme proposed by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry and modified in the course of discussions with the health Ministers, for regulating the prices of certain proprietary pharmaceutical products. The scheme povides a method of establishing reasonable maximum prices for most of these products: by reference to export prices, where the products have established themselves in world markets: by reference to the prices of equivalent standard drugs, where the products are available in standard as well as proprietary form; and, in other cases, by using a special formula constructed for the purpose. There will also be cases where firms negotiate prices directly with the Departments.
The Government's acceptance of the scheme is subject to the completion of some points of detail and to the working out of suitable administrative machinery, but I hope it can be brought into operation within the next two months. The scheme will be on trial, and subject to review. I am most grateful to the industry for the co-operation it has shown throughout these negotiations.