§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State of Social Services (1) if he will advise doctors on the use of vaccines containing an extract of the housedust mite for hyposensitisation;
(2) if he will institute a departmental inquiry into the methods of standardising vaccines for hyposensitisation.
§ Dr. Owen
The preparations in question are subject to licensing under the Medicines Act. Two companies hold licences for the marketing of products containing an extract of the house-dust mite and under the relevant conditions samples and protocols of tests are required to be submitted to the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control. When these licences were granted however the required tests related only to sterility and toxicity as no satisfactory method for assaying the potency had been evolved. In conjunction with the manufacturers, however, the National Institute has been engaged in evolving a suitable method. When this work is complete appropriate standards will be laid down.
The data sheets and other literature relating to these products contain appropriate warnings and other advice; in practice, I understand that these preparations would normally be used by doctors with relevant specialist knowledge who would be aware of the special problems affecting the use of these preparations.