§ Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take measures to encourage patients, discouraged by cost or other factors, to exchange 198W prescriptions issued by their medical advisers for the medication prescribed, in view of the fact that about one in five items prescribed are not now obtained; and if he will estimate the current level of money saved because of this practice.
§ Dr. Vaughan
There are no comprehensive figures available on the proportion of prescriptions not exchanged which would enable savings to be estimated. I assume the hon. Member is referring to the results of a recent small survey, reported in theBritish Medical Journal. This report indicates a number of reasons why this practice is not necessarily undesirable and I believe it is best left to doctors themselves to explain the importance of following a recommended course of treatment. There are special arrangememts to help those on low incomes to meet prescription charges.