§ Lord Ennals
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Since general practioners' drug budgets will in future not be governed by cash limits at regional health authority and family practitioner 1213WA committee levels, whether they will give an assurance that any extra necessary expenditure for drugs will not be at the expense of other parts of the service.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hooper)
The new drug budgets in respect of indicative prescribing budgets at RHA and FPC level, proposed under the NHS Review, will be identified separately from expenditure on other parts of the service. If the NHS is able to avoid unnecessary and wasteful prescribing and thereby restrain the growth in its drugs bill, it will facilitate allocation of more growth money to other patient services. If, on the other hand, the drugs bill grows excessively, that obviously has an adverse effect on the Government's ability to allocate money to other services. That relationship exists in practice now and always has done.