HC Deb 22 January 1974 vol 867 cc254-6W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has considered the format and the efficacy of the Data Sheet Compendium 1974, information about which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West ; if he will consider issuing regulations under the Medicines Act 1968 to have a common format and to make such a compendium comprehensive for all drugs prescribed under the National Health Service ; if he will negotiate with the five major suppliers which have refused to join this scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

The Data Sheet Compendium 1974 to which the hon. Member refers was prepared by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry under the provisions of the Medicines (Data Sheet) Regulations 1972 (Statutory Instrument 1972 No. 2076). These regulations were drafted in the light of advice received from the Medicines Commission and after extensive consultation with interested professional and trade bodies and require among other things that each entry in a data sheet compendium must have a common format and a standard set of headings under which essential information is given to assist practitioners in the understanding of the medicinal products concerned. While companies are required to issue data sheets for those products that are promoted to practitioners, participation in a compendium is not compulsory, as stated in my answer to the hon. Member on 29th January 1973.—[Vol. 849, c.3201.] I have no proposals for changes in the regulations referred to above and it is for companies themselves to decide whether to participate in the compendium.

Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the 10 drugs upon which the National Health Service met the highest cost with the amount spent on each in the last year to a convenient date.

Mr. Alison

Information about the volume of sales of individual pharmaceutical products to the National Health Service is confidential between the Department and the manufacturers concerned.