Dr. M. S. Miller
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action she is taking on the letter published in the British Medical Journal last October on the distribution and supervision of oral contraceptives.
§ Dr. Owen
The letter suggested that suitably trained State registered nurses 283W should be allowed to prescribe oral contraceptives to healthy women in certain circumstances.
This is a very complex matter which needs to be thoroughly explored and discussed with the various professions involved. We have, therefore, invited the Central Health Services Council, the Medicines Commission and the Committee on Safety of Medicines to set up a joint working group with membership drawn from each of the Standing Medical, Nursing and Midwifery and Pharmaceutical Advisory Committees, lay members of the council, the Medicines Commission and the Committee on Safety of Medicines. The working group will consider in detail the proposals contained in the British Medical Journal letter and is expected to make its recommendations to all three bodies which would consider them and convey their conclusions independently to us.