HC Deb 24 February 1977 vol 926 cc652-3W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now announce his decision on advice of the Medicines Commission about the retail sale of analgesics.

Mr. Moyle

I have carefully considered this issue, in the light of all the representations made on it, and my right hon. Friends the Health Ministers and I accept the advice that there are no grounds at present for believing that there is a correlation between the method of sale of a medicine and its rôle in accidental self-poisoning.

However, we accept the view of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain that in general medicines are different from other products and should be treated with due care, especially in the home: and, since it is important to ensure that the need to treat medicines with respect is widely and fully appreciated, my colleagues and I propose to consider with the Health Education Council, the Scottish Health Education Unit and others whether further health education measures might usefully contribute to this end.

In these circumstances, and bearing in mind the introduction of the Medicines (Child Safety) Regulations and the restrictions proposed on the retail sale of preparations containing analgesics, such as the restriction to packs of 25, we agree that there is no need to make regulations including the imposition of the additional restrictions of a ban on self-service methods. The proposed Medicines (Sale and Supply) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations, which are required to deal with other matters, are now being drafted accordingly and will be issued for consultation as soon as possible.