§ Mr. Duncan Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the documented side-effects of the drug corticosteroid; and if this research is in the public domain. 
§ Mr. Malone
The Department of Health has not commissioned research into the side-effects of corticosteroids. The available research into the side-effects of corticosteroids, as with all medicines, was assessed at the time of granting the individual products' marketing authorisations and continues to be evaluated by the Medicines Control Agency whenever new information emerges. A national programme for monitoring the side-effects of marketed medicines exists which includes evaluating data obtained from various sources such as the yellow card system, scientific literature, and information received from other regulatory authorities.
Much research has been published in the literature about the side-effects of corticosteroids and is therefore in the public domain. In addition, the side-effects for corticosteroids are well documented in product information which is produced by the manufacturer and authorised by the licensing authority, and in the "British National Formulary" which the Department sends free of charge to all doctors.
§ Mr. Duncan Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of current hospital admissions in the United Kingdom relate to adverse effects arising from the drug corticosteroid. 
§ Mr. Horam
The information available centrally relates to the number of admissions to hospitals in England where an adverse reaction to "Drugs medicaments and biological substances in therapeutic use" has been recorded.
Information for 1994–95, which is the latest available year, shows that 886 finished consultant episodes—less than 1 in 10,000—related to adverse effects arising from the drug corticosteroid.