HC Deb 13 February 1976 vol 905 cc428-9W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will advise doctors and hospitals not to prescribe barbiturates except to patients who have previously received them as hypnotics or sedatives; and if she will advise that every effort be made to stop the prescribing of barbiturates to chronically dependent subjects.

Dr. Owen

No. I do not consider it would be suitable for me to interfere with doctors' professional judgment and responsibility in the manner suggested. I understand that the profession itself has instituted a "Campaign on the Use and Restriction of Barbiturates" in order to advise prescribers about these drugs. The Government have welcomed this initiative from the medical profession as being in the public interest and are providing the necessary funds.