§ 47. Mr. Sumberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his proposals for the future supply of drugs to National Health Service patients.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The proposed introduction of indicative prescribing budgets will not affect the supply of necessary drugs to NHS patients. GPs will remain free to prescribe all medicines which are clinically necessary for their patients. Where there is a choice of equally effective drugs, GPs will be expected to take the relative costs into account. Indicative prescribing budgets will encourage more effective and economic prescribing and help to eliminate unnecessary expenditure in drugs, thus releasing money for other aspects of patient care in the NHS.