HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 cc3-4W
57. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Health whether, notwithstanding that his Department does not normally purchase raw materials for the preparation of ethical drugs, he will make inquiries, in the course of his regular investigations into manufacturing costs where monopoly patents apply, as to the charge made by an American company's subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom, of 40s. per 100 ten-milligram tablets of mecamylamine hydro-chloride, a drug on current supply to the National Health Service, in view of the fact that this material is available in Europe at £100 per kilo and that the profit on the price to the National Health Service, after allowances for manufacturing costs, is approximately 990 per cent.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I understand that this drug is classified by the Standing Joint Committee on the Classification of Proprietary Preparations as a new drug of proved value not yet standard, and its price is therefore not regulated at present by the scheme agreed with the pharmaceutical industry. I do not know how the hon. Member has made his calculation, but if he will let me have the details I will gladly make some inquiries of the manufacturers.