§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department decided to set up a new discount inquiry for products dispensed under National Health Service prescriptions; when he expects it to come into force; when was the last inquiry; and what kind of discounts are currently available.
§ Mr. Mellor
We consider the need for discount inquiries annually in consultation with the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee (PSNC). The next discount inquiry will be based on purchases of drugs made during April 1989. The results of the inquiry will be implemented from April 1990 or such earlier date as may be agreed between the Department and the PSNC. The last inquiry was undertaken in respect of April 1986 purchases. The price differences taken into account include discounts for volume and early settlement, special lines, the ordering of supplies by computer, free offers and lower prices for parallel imported and other products.