HL Deb 24 March 1999 vol 598 c165WA
Lord Walton of Detchant

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they propose to improve the safety of the prescribing of medicines for children. [HL1636]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman)

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) assesses the safety, quality and efficacy of all medicines licensed for use in the United Kingdom. Their safety is monitored closely after licensing by medical and scientific staff at the MCA using the yellow card scheme for adverse reaction reporting by doctors and pharmacists. The findings of this scheme are translated into safety information which is provided to prescribers of medicines, including those used for children.

In addition, the MCA is funding, jointly with Trent National Health Service Executive, a pilot project to establish a regional monitoring centre based at Derbyshire Children's Hospital with the specific purpose of monitoring adverse reactions arising from paediatric use of medicines.

The UK played a leading role in the development of a European guideline to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to undertake appropriate clinical trials to support applications for licences specifically for the use of products in the treatment of children. The UK is also playing a leading role in the European Union's collaboration with the United States of America and Japan to produce a new guideline on the development of medicinal products in the paediatric population.