§ Lord Balniel
asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement on the renewal of the voluntary scheme for the regulation of drug prices.
§ Mr. Powell
Yes. Agreement has been reached with the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry on a number of modifications to the scheme and it is to be renewed, as modified, until 30th June, 1964. The main modifications, all of which should result in further restraint on prices, are as follows:
- (i) Provision is made for the prices of some widely-used patented drugs to be negotiated directly.
- (ii) The percentage of sales that must be exported if the export price is to be the maximum price is increased from 20 to 25.
- (iii) The formula which fixes the maximum price for products which do not satisfy the export criterion and for which there are no exact unbranded equivalents, is revised so as to result in lower maxima.
- (iv) The definition of new drugs, which are free from control during their first three years, is so revised as to exclude products which manifestly owe nothing to fresh research.
I should like to acknowledge the co-operation of the Association in the discussions that have led to agreement on these modifications.