§ Lord Balniel
asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement about his future intentions relating to the purchase of drugs from overseas under Section 41 of the Patents Laws.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
The purchases in question are made under Section 46(1) of the Patents Act, 1949. I recently invited the patentees and licensees to quote for the supply to hospitals and to the Armed Services of four drugs currently being purchased from overseas sources and three other widely used patented drugs. Acceptable offers of prices were received in respect of three drugs; the manufacturers of two others have agreed to negotiate prices concurrently with negotiations for the prices of these drugs used in the pharmaceutical service; and I have now publicly invited tenders for the supply of the other two. If the successful tenderers are not the patentees or licensees, contracts will be placed under the authority of Section 46(1) of the Patents Act, 1949, and I shall continue to use my powers under this Section as and when it seems to me right to do so.