HC Deb 30 July 1997 vol 299 cc307-8W
Mr. Salmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements are in place for monitoring the use and effectiveness of methadone as a heroin substitute. [11271]

Mr. Galbraith

Arrangements for the delivery of substitute prescribing programmes, including monitoring the use and effectiveness of services, are a matter for local consideration in the first instance. The use and effectiveness of substitute prescribing programmes are issues addressed in new national guidance on drug misuse services which has been prepared by my department, discussed with the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse, and is now the subject of wide consultation.

An additional £1 million is being made available to health boards in this financial year to fund shared care arrangements for drug misusers, which will include monitoring and evaluation of projects.

Mr. Salmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the use of methadone as a heroin substitute for heroin addicts in Scotland. [11270]

Mr. Galbraith

Substitute prescribing, including the use of methadone as a heroin substitute, is a method of harm reduction which has an important part to play in tackling drug misuse in Scotland. It needs to form part of a comprehensive package of care tailored to the individual needs of the drug misuser, which includes counselling and support and supervision of the taking of the drug, to prevent leakage onto the illicit market.

My Department is issuing detailed guidance on good practice in substitute prescribing to all GPs and relevant health professionals in Scotland.

Mr. Salmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the expenditure on the provision of methadone to heroin addicts(a) by health board and (b) in total for each of the last 10 years in Scotland. [11272]

Mr. Galbraith

The information by health board and Scotland for the financial years 1994–95 to 1996–97 is set out in the table.

The costs shown include the value of ingredients and the cost of fees paid to community pharmacists for dispensing the drug.

The information is not available in the form requested before 1994–95.

Cost of methadone prescribing: 1994–95 to 1996–97
Health board 1994–95 (£) 1995–96 (£) 1996–97 (£)
Argyll and Clyde 100,617 142,918 206,117
Ayrshire and Arran 156,791 166,850 251,422
Borders 4,875 5,353 8,332
Dumfries and Galloway 31,710 48,304 53,417
Fife 30,591 59,354 86,943
Forth Valley 94,810 98,901 113,965
Grampian 186,454 264,363 269,263
Greater Glasgow 1,169,894 1,620,819 1,924,393
Highland 8,082 15,337 15,699
Lanarkshire 36,891 55,309 85,164
Lothian 435,881 533,992 631,033
Orkney 409 351 405
Shetland 96 1,390 1,712
Tayside 253,504 292,917 348,973
Western Isles 16 21 4
Scotland 2,510,621 3,306,179 3,996,832

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