§ Ms Blears
Single mumps vaccines being prescribed and administered, as part of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programmes are unlicensed imported medicines. The number of doses of mumps vaccines allowed into the United Kingdom varies according to the number of notifications submitted per day by importers of unlicensed medicines, who are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Every importer must notify the MHRA on each occasion they intend importing an unlicensed medicine and there is a legal restriction on the maximum quantity they may import per notification (a maximum of 25 single administrations). This applies to all imported unlicensed medicines. The MHRA received an average of 172 notifications to import unlicensed mumps vaccines per month during the first quarter of 2003. This is the number of notifications submitted to the MHRA for importation and does not necessarily relate to the number of doses actually imported. Consequently the MHRA does not have data on the actual number of doses imported or on the stocks held in the UK.