Skip to main content

Advertising (Medical Journals)

Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 8 March 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the Government's intentions with regard to advertising in medical journals.

The reduction in reckon-able sales promotion expenditure which I announced last July and which includes the cost of advertising in medical journals accepted as a cost under the Voluntary Price Regulation Scheme takes effect from 1st April. Consultations on the proposal to exempt from the reduction and to accept in full the cost of advertising in learned and professional journals are expected to be completed shortly.

Can the Secretary of State tell the House what are the preliminary results of his consultations, especially with the print unions, about the possibility of having an approved list of journals and a non-approved list? I gather that the right hon. Gentleman has consulted some 30 different organisations. Can he say anything about his consultations?

I cannot indicate the views of specific organisations. I hope that it will be possible to take a decision on this very soon. Some of the very important organisations which were consulted have not yet replied. I have urged them to do so quickly because I am anxious that a decision should be taken.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that some of these advertisements make claims for miraculous cures? Would he care to investigate the standards of this type of advertising?

This is one of the matters which I have under discussion with the pharmaceutical industry. I hope that before long it will be possible to make an announcement dealing precisely with this problem.