HC Deb 21 May 1980 vol 985 cc228-9W
Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the report of the World Health Organisation expert committee on the compiling of a list of essential and proven drugs published in July 1979; what importance his Department attaches to the report; and whether its recommendations are of assistance in reducing the complexity and high cost of drug prescribing in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Vaughan

As the hon. Member will know, the main purpose of the meeting of the World Health Organisation expert committee to which the report relates was to review and update the model list of essential drugs contained in the first report of the committee published in 1977. The earlier report makes clear that the committee was primarily concerned to establish a list of essential drugs for use in those developing countries where there is at present difficulty in making the most necessary drugs generally accessible to the population. As far as the introduction of such a list into the NHS is concerned, I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member on 13 February.—[Vol. 978, c.703.]