HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 c659W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will ban the drug rohypnol. [24673]

Ms Jowell

Rohypnol is the proprietary name for flunitrazepam, a prescription-only medicine for the short-term treatment of insomnia. It is not prescribable under the National Health Service but may be supplied under private prescription. In view of its attractiveness to drug misusers for self-administration it is already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

There are no plans at present to withdraw the drug rohypnol. Because of concern about possible misuse of rohypnol the manufacturers have modified the formulation, including a dye that will show up in a drink. This new formulation has been approved by the United Kingdom licensing authority and we understand that it will be marketed in the near future.

The Government plan to bring forward amending legislation shortly which will increase the amount of regulation on the drug in the UK, including making it an offence to possess the drug without lawful authority.