HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1163-4W
Mr. Grylls

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, (1) which organisations he intends to consult in drawing up his list of medical journals for protection;

(2) if he will set up an inquiry to establish the consequences of differentiating between one medical journal and another which will result from his policy of protection;

(3) if he will list the medical journals he intends to protect;

(4) what criteria he intends to apply to the selection of medical publications for protection.

Mr. Ennals

As I announced on 22nd July, I have decided that the amount of expenditure on sales promotion of medicines allowed as a cost under the voluntary price regulation scheme must be reduced. Fears have been expressed that the straightforward application of this reduction could adversely affect some learned and professional publications; and I am, therefore, having arrangements worked out which will exempt advertising in publications which derive, or will derive, a significant part of their income from subscriptions. I shall be consulting representative organisations, including the Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, and the Periodical Publishers Association, about these arrangements. A list of publications, the full costs of advertising in which will be an allowable cost under the voluntary price regulation scheme and will not count against the reduced amount accept- able as sales promotion expenditure, cannot be prepared until these consultations have been completed. Advertising in publications not in the list will continue to be treated as acceptable sales promotion expenditure within the new limits. The operation of the new arrangements will be carefully monitored and they will be reviewed if they seem not to be producing the required effect.

Forward to