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Drugs (Purchase)

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Health what the saving would be if, based on the total usage for the last 12 months, supplies of chlorothiazide, tetracycline and chloramphenicol at £5, £37 5s. and £27 per 1,000 tablets, respectively, were bought from continental instead of British manufacturers.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of any reason for this considerable difference in the prices charged by continental and British manufacturers? Does he think that it would act as an incentive to British manufacturers to reduce their prices if we purchased more from the Continent?

My hon. Friend's Question asks what the saving would be, on certain assumptions. The purchase of these articles from abroad involves several issues, including that of royalty payments.

Can the Minister say when supplies officers may expect clear instructions from his Department about the purchase of drugs from the Continent?