§ 19. Sir Roger Sims
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the analysis his Department has carried out of the drugs budgets of general practitioner fundholders and of non-fundholders. 
§ Mr. Malone
Health authorities allocate prescribing budgets annually, to both fundholding and non-fundholding general practitioners, to meet patient needs. Guidance is issued to help health authorities achieve equity between fundholding and non-fundholding practices and the national health service executive's regional offices oversee the whole process to ensure fairness. Analysis of the management of drugs budgets by fundholders and non-fundholders shows a 6 per cent. saving by each wave of fundholders compared with trends in expenditure by non-fundholders. These savings are "locked in" and currently represent some £100 million each year.