HL Deb 05 December 1996 vol 576 cc63-4WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress is being made towards the separation of the Suspected Adverse Reaction Surveillance Scheme (SARS) from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

Lord Lucas

The Government's response to the report of the Agriculture Select Committee on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (Fifth Report Session 1994–95) indicated that discussions were in hand with organisations which might take over work on human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines.

The Government subsequently commissioned a review conducted by Professor Lawson, Chairman of the Medicines Commission, to establish the existence of independent bodies such as research institutes or university departments with the capability for monitoring and subsequently investigating human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines. Professor Lawson has very recently submitted his report and recommendations, which are under consideration by Ministers, and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.