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Habit-Forming Drugs

Volume 644: debated on Monday 10 July 1961

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38.

asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to promote research into prescribing patterns with particular reference to habit-forming drugs such as the amphetamines and phenmetrazine, as suggested by the Brain Committee on Drug Addiction.

I have asked the Standing Committee on Operational Research in the Pharmaceutical Services to advise me on this.

Is the Minister aware that his reply is very satisfactory in view of the fact that these drugs now constitute about 2½ per cent. of the total prescriptions, that they are addiction-forming drugs and may lead to serious psychosis? Is he further aware that there is a view that the Brain Committee took a rather too complacent attitude about the dangers of drug addiction in this country, and will he keep a close watch on the situation?

I do not like to express an opinion on the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, but I think this a natural extension of the work of the Standing Committee on Operational Research in the Pharmaceutical Services.