§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will examine the effect of the £1 prescription charge on the volume of medicines prescribed and consequent increase of public expenditure in view of the fact that before the charge increase and average prescription for Tenormin tablets rarely exceded 28 and that it is now the practice to prescribe 112 tablets at a cost to the National Health Service of £31.71; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
I have seen a recent letter in the pharmaceutical press about a single prescription for 112 Tenormin tablets, but I have no evidence to suggest that such prescriptions have become general. Prescribing figures following the latest increase in the prescription charge are not yet available, but it is already clear that, following the two earlier changes in the level of the prescription charge in July 1979 and April 1980, the increase in the volume of medicines prescribed by general practitioners was small.