HC Deb 19 March 1996 vol 274 cc187-8W
Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical guidelines have been issued on the prescribing of temazepam capsules as opposed to temazepam tablets. [21009]

Mr. Bowis

In October 1995, issue No. of the chief medical officer's update, issued to all doctors in England, notified a ban on the national health service prescribing by general practitioners of the capsule formulation of temazepam from 1 January 1996 and advised on measures taken to increase controls over temazepam generally. British National Formulary No. 31, March 1996, page 151, draws specific attention to the risks associated with the misuse of temazepam capsules. A copy of CMO's update and the British National Formulary have been placed in the Library. Temazepam tablets remain available to meet all clinical needs.

Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people died in each of the last five years from abuse of temazepam capsules. [21010]

Mr. Bowis

The number of deaths certified as due to abuse of temazepam—ICDs1 304.1, 304.7, 304.8. 305.4, 305.9—alone or with other drugs for the years 1990–94 in England and Wales is

  • 1990: 12
  • 1991: 13
  • 1992: 15
  • 1993:15
  • 1994: 22

The available data do not differentiate between the different formulations of temazepam that may be available in any one year.


1Internal Classification of Disease ninth revision.