§ Mr. Michael Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what action is being taken to seek to ensure that individual chemists are not being remunerated at National Health Service list prices when they have bought products at substantial discounts on this price;
(2) what action is being taken to prevent chemists forming their own limited companies to import products at below list price and then invoice themselves at full National Health Service list price to comply with clause 4(1) of the Drug Tariff.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
Retail pharmacists receive the actual wholesale cost of the drugs used in dispensing National Health Service prescriptions, less a stratified average discount which they are deemed to be able to obtain from their own source of supply, which can be through the normal wholesale distribution network, their own limited companies or direct from a manufacturer.
The amount of the discount deduction is established by periodic statistical inquiries. The last such inquiry took place in 1981. My Department has already initiated 58W discussions with the pharmacists' representatives, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, on the early conduct of a further inquiry which would identify all the various forms of discount available in the market. This will include both domestic and imported drugs.