§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will list the numbers of staff employed by the Committee on Safety of Medicines and all its sub-committees broken down into (a) administrative, (b) secretarial, (c) medical and (d) scientific, by whom they are employed and to whom they are ultimately responsible;
(2) how many times the Committee on Safety of Medicines and its various subcommittees meets each year;
(3) what is the average number of items on the agenda for each meeting of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and its various sub-committees;
(4) if he will estimate the amount and weight of documents which are sent to the members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and its various sub-committees prior to each meeting.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The secretariat of the Committee on Safety of Medicine is provided from the staff of the medicines division of this Department. Twenty-two administrative staff of the division are employed on duties primarily concerned with the work of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and its six subcommittees although they all work on548W occasion on the activities of the licensing authority.
The medicines division as at 1 August 1980 had 19 doctors, 50 pharmacists and 24 scientists in post. These officials are deployed as needed over the whole range of the division's activities and it would not be practicable to try to apportion professional staff time between these activities.
The CSM meets about 12 times a year. Its agenda normally contains some 30 items (including individual drug applications or written representations and hearings). The average number of pages per member per meeting is approximately 1,000 and their weight is about four kilograms (both figures exclude data submitted by manufacturers which is sent as appropriate to members).
The six sub-committee meet between three and 10 times a year and the number of items on the agenda varies widely between them and between the meetings of each. It is not practicable, therefore, to produce any average figure of the papers provided for members but they range from about 30 to 700 pages per member per meeting.