§ Mr. Michael Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what were the views of the Office of Fair Trading in relation to competition policy when it was consulted about the proposed new contract for retail pharmacists.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
During the discussions on the proposed new contract for retail pharmacists officials of the Office of Fair Trading expressed some reservations about the possible effect of the new contract on competition in the supply of National Health Service pharmaceutical 665W services. The Government's view however is that the revised new contract strikes a balance between competition, the need to control National Health Service dispensing costs, and, above all, the need to provide adequate services to National Health Service patients.