HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c785W
Mrs. Anne Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will reclassify high factor sunblock as a medicine. [123353]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The decision as to whether a particular product is a medicinal product is made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, using the definition of that term in Article 1 of Directive 2001/83, relevant legal precedent and its own published guidance. Products, which are presented to the consumer for treating or preventing disease, would be classified as medicinal products. Sunburn is an adverse medical condition and direct or implied product claims to treat or prevent sunburn would bring the product within the definition of a medicinal product, regardless of the product's level of sun protection factor. Products that modify physiological function could also be classified as medicinal products.

Certain creams or lotions with a sun protection factor of 15 or above, which are not licensed or marketed as medicines, may be assessed by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) as being regarded as drugs for the management of specific conditions. Products so recommended by the ACBS may be prescribed under the National Health Service.

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