§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the total number of prescribing chemists and facilities for patients which were lost as a result of the merger of Boots Ltd. and Timothy Whites Ltd.
§ Mr. Moyle
I regret that the information is not available in the form requested as chemist contractors are not required to inform family practitioner committees of the reason for the closure of a pharmacy. However, according to the records of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 169 branches of Boots the Chemists Ltd. and Timothy Whites and Taylors closed in 1969 and 84 in 1970. Many of the closures resulted from rationalisation following the merger of the two companies. Closures of pharmacies owned by Boots the Chemists Ltd. have since averaged 40 a year. We have no information on this company's openings.