§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what use will be made of information about medicinal products currently being requested under the Medicines Act; and what steps will be taken to protect the confidentiality of this information.
§ Dr. Owen
As the first step in the comprehensive review of the safety, quality and efficacy of all medicines on the market, my Department has written to the holders of product licences to request certain particulars of the composition and manufacture of their products. This information will be used in assessing the products, and as background to the consideration of any requests for variations to the licences.
The Health Ministers recognise that some of this information is of great commercial value, and I can give an unqualified undertaking that the information will be used only for purposes connected with the Medicines Act. The Act itself gives statutory force to this. Administratively all necessary steps will be taken to preserve the confidentiality of this material. 248W Only those officials engaged in administering the Act will have access to it, and it will not be available to officials in other parts of my Department.