HC Deb 10 November 1977 vol 938 cc201-2W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what arrangements he has made to monitor the code of practice of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry and, in particular, to ensure that each individual free sample does not exceed four days' treatment for a single patient; if he also monitors free samples provided for clinical evaluation free of charge to hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moyle:

The agreement with the pharmaceutical industry which my right hon. Friend announced in his reply to my hon. Friend on 28th April provides that the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry will introduce a new and stronger code of practice. The Code of Practice Committee, which adjudicates alleged breaches of the code, is being strengthened by the addition of two independent doctors.

The code of practice will provide that samples are supplied only in response to a signed request from a doctor and, wherever practicable, an individual sample will not represent more than four days' treatment for a single patient. These arrangements also apply to samples supplied to hospitals.

My Department will be keeping the situation under review and any apparent breaches of the code will be referred to the Code of Practice Committee whose decision will be notified immediately to my Department.—[Vol. 930, c. 390–3.]