§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines his Department issues to doctors and patients about the use of drugs whose safety is under review; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The safety of all medicines is continuously under review by the Committee on the Safety of Medicines. Advice on the safety of particular medicines is issued to all prescribers in product data sheets issued by manufacturers of prescription only medicines and in the British National Formulary, which is issued twice yearly. Where a serious safety problem arises it is mentioned in the Committee on Safety of Medicines' fact sheet "Current Problems" which is issued, normally four times a year, to all doctors and pharmacists in the United Kingdom. In certain urgent cases the committee will issue a special warning letter to the professions.