asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans she has for increasing public accountability of the pharmaceutical industry.
Last November I met the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the Proprietary Association of Great Britain. I discussed our plans for a review of the safety, quality and efficacy of existing medicines and told them that I was seeking the advice of the Medicines Commission about the quality of advertisements of medicines and about the best methods of supplying doctors with information about medicines.At the same time I expressed to the ABPI representatives my concern about levels of sales promotion and told them that I wished to discuss with them the proposition that sales promotion on home business should be substantially reduced. I also noted that the present Voluntary Price Regulation Scheme had reduced the previous high levels of profits, but I said that I was not convinced that our present statutory powers in reserve were adequate and that I would be discussing what further powers might be needed.We have now heard from the Medicines Commission and hope to put firm proposals to the industry in the near future.
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