HC Deb 19 June 1972 vol 839 c40W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he takes into consideration when making appointments to the Medicines Commission the fact that directors of major manufacturing pharmaceutical companies may appear to be considering licensing applications for their own products.

Sir K. Joseph

Section 2 of the Medicines Act, 1968, requires that appointments to the Medicines Commission shall include at least one person with wide and recent experience of and having shown capacity in the pharmaceutical industry. In view of this, members of the Medicines Commission are not required to sever any links they may have with a pharmaceutical company. The Medicines Commission is neither the licensing authority nor either of the bodies appointed under Section 4 of the Act to give advice on safety, efficacy and quality of a medicinal product in relation to a licence application or to adverse reactions to medicines in use.

The Commission may be concerned where the Committee on Safety of Medicines or the Veterinary Products Committee has advised the responsible Ministers that for considerations of safety, efficacy and quality a licence ought to be refused or granted subject to conditions. The Ministers, as licensing authority, must then give the applicant the opportunity of making representations about the committee's advice to the Medicines Commission. So far no such representations have been made; when the occasion arises it will be ascertained whether any member has an interest in the company concerned, so that the commission can ensure that its proceedings are not prejudiced.