§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of delays in the settlement of chemists' and doctors' accounts for the dispensing of National Health Service prescriptions in England, she will make a statement.611W
§ Dr. Owen
Yes. A system of advance payments has been in force for some time and this is now being further improved. I am glad to say that Mr. R. I. Tricker, Director of the Oxford Centre for Management Studies, has accepted my right hon. Friend's invitation to undertake a fundamental inquiry into the functions, constitution and organisation of the Prescription Pricing Authority. This, I hope, will help the authority to overcome its current problems and also provide, for the first time in its history, an independent appraisal of its rôle in pricing prescriptions and as a source of information to help us control prescribing costs.