§ Mr. Hutton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made about the possible side effects attributable to the use of septrin;
(2) what plans she has to prohibit the use of septrin.
§ Mr. Sackville
Septrin—co-trimoxazole—is an effective medicine for the treatment of severe bacterial infections. Since its introduction, the side-effects associated with its use have been closely monitored by the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Medicines Control Agency. The side effects are well documented and are included in the product data sheet which is produced by the manufacturer and authorised by the licensing authority, and the "British National Formulary", which the Department of Health sends free of charge to doctors, copies of which are available in the Library.
The Department has no plans to prohibit the use of septrin. It is our view that this drug has a place in medical practice when prescribed with appropriate care, and it is for doctors to use their training, knowledge and experience to weigh carefully the likely benefits of a drug against the anticipated risks. As for all medicines, its safety will be kept under review.