§ 50. Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to issue instructions to medical journals on advertising.
§ Mr. Ennals
I have no plans to issue instructions to medical journals on advertising. I am, however, concerned about the cost of sales promotion by pharmaceutical companies, which includes advertising in medical journals, and which is reflected in the prices of medicines supplied under the National Health Service. I announced on 22nd July a reduction in the level of sales promotion costs accepted under the voluntary price regulation scheme, from a current 14 per cent. of the value of the industry's sales to 10 per cent. by 1979. As my hon. Friend indicated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt) on 8th July—[Vol 914, c.653]—I am also concerned to improve the quality of advertising to doctors, and I am pursuing this in discussions with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.