HC Deb 23 February 1959 vol 600 cc108-9W
26. Mrs. Slater

asked the Minister of Health what steps are taken to test new drugs before they are officially recommended to the medical profession.

Mr. Walker-Smith

No such recommendation is made. The therapeutic value to be placed on a remedy is a matter for professional decision in the light of experience, published reports, etc.

27. Mrs. Slater

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the high cost of drugs supplied by United States firms; and what steps are taken to control these.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Products which involve research and expensive plant for their manufacture are necessarily expensive in their early years. Many preparations supplied by British-based subsidiaries of United States firms are in this category. In order to obtain general supplies for the National Health Service at reasonable prices, I rely where appropriate on ordinary contracting arrangements, and for the rest on arrangements worked out in co-operation with the pharmaceutical industry.