§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will investigate the availability of the drug L Tryptophan on retail sale as a dietary supplement, in view of its prescription only status when supplied by a pharmacist.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
L Tryptophan is an amino acid which is a constituent of a balanced diet. When sold as a food or food supplement, without medicinal claims, it is not a medicinal product under the terms of the Medicines Act. If, however, it is sold for medicinal purposes, it is covered by the Act and, unless sold for dietary or nutritive purposes or external use, has prescription only status. We are aware of the current interest in this substance and are keeping the matter under careful review.