asked the Minister of Health by what percentage the number of prescriptions dispensed under the National Health Service in the County Borough of Walsall in the period March-August, 1961, inclusive, differed from the number prescribed in the like period of 1960.
A decrease of 11·7 per cent.
To what factors other than the increase in the Health Service charges does the Minister attribute the drop, and is this fall not greatly in excess of his assessment of a 2 per cent. decrease?
Yes, but it has largely been counterbalanced by the increase in the quantities prescribed, from which it is evident that those in chronic need of medicines are getting them without appreciable additional charges.
Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate more precisely what he means by "largely" in this context?
Yes, if the hon. Gentleman asks me a corresponding question on quantities and costs, I will give him the figures.