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Penicillin Supplies

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many patients there were in the municipal hospital at Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany, in April, 1947, in need of penicillin to save life; for how many of these cases was penicillin asked for and provided by the Control Commission; and for how many it was refused.

There were, I understand, nine cases in which the medical officer in charge would have given penicillin if a supply had been available in the hospital. The Control Commission were not asked to provide supplies for any of the cases.

If I give my right hon. Friend the names of patients who needed penicillin and the names of those for whom a supply was asked and not received, will he look further into the matter?

I am very concerned about this matter, but the point I want to make is that while I know that at least nine patients needed penicillin on medical advice, no approach was made to the Control authorities.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement as to the present state of progress in the production of penicillin in Germany.

Present production is by surface culture. Although encouraged, it does not exceed 3,600 mega units a year in all four zones. The possibility of production by the deep culture process is under discussion by the British and American authorities.

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he expects to be able to give more information shortly about production by the deep culture method?

That is under study, and I will be very glad to discuss it further with my hon. Friend.