HC Deb 12 December 1983 vol 50 c355W
Sir Dudley Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take fiscal measures to recoup the monetary advantage gained by pharmaceutical wholesale distributors and chemists who import prescribed medicines into the United Kingdom from the continent at an advantageous price and who then charge the Department of Health and Social Security the full British wholesale price.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Our policy to reduce the NHS drugs bill is based on controlling the prices paid for drugs by the National Health Service to pharmaceutical companies as announced in my statement on 8 December 1983.—[Vol. 50, c. 477–79.] The Department does not directly control wholesalers' costs and profits on NHS business.

Our contract with pharmacists is based on the principle that they should be reimbursed for the actual cost they pay for drugs they dispense. I shall be considering what action can be taken to ensure that this is adhered to in my forthcoming discussions with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee about the future form of the contract.