HC Deb 12 October 1976 vol 917 c111W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many members of the Medicines Commission have been previously engaged in a pharmaceutical industry; how many are at present holding industrial posts; how many accept fees for consultation services to the pharmaceutical industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moyle

I regret that this information is not available. Section 2 of the Medicines Act 1968 lays down that the members of the commission shall include at least one person with wide and recent experience in each of the following activities:

  1. (a) the practice of medicine, other than veterinary medicine;
  2. (b) the practice of veterinary medicine;
  3. (c) the practice of pharmacy;
  4. (d) chemistry other than pharmaceutical chemistry;
  5. (e) the pharmaceutical industry.
In making appointments Ministers take these requirements into account and seek to maintain a proper balance. The commission's report for 1975 gives details of members' affiliations.

Members are not precluded from accepting fees for consultation services to the pharmaceutical industry and no register of consultancies is kept. When the commission considers representations about the advice given to Ministers as the licensing authority by the Committee on Safety of Medicines or the Veterinary Products Committee any member with an interest in the company concerned would be required to disclose that interest.