HC Deb 22 November 2000 vol 357 c206W
Dr. Brand

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for phentermine (Ionamin) there were in the NHS and the private sector in the last three years; and if he will make a statement on the licensing history of this drug. [138773]

Ms Stuart

The number of National Health Service prescription items for phentermine dispensed in the community in England from 1997 to 1999 is shown in the table. Information on prescriptions dispensed in NHS hospitals or the private sector is not available.

Number of prescription items for phentermine, dispensed in the community 1997 to 1999
England Thousand
Year Number of Year prescription items
1997 23.4
1998 20.5
1999 19.8


1. The data are from the Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) systems and are based on a full analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community ie by the community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. Total prescriptions include not only prescriptions originating from general practices in England but also from nurses, hospital doctors and dentists provided they were dispensed in the community. Also included are prescriptions written in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but dispensed in England. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals or private prescriptions.

The marketing authorisation for phentermine was withdrawn by the European Commission on 9 April. It was subsequently reinstated on 7 August following a legal challenge to the European Court.

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