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Volume 80: debated on Thursday 13 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department was involved in assessing the Today contraceptive sponge before it was put on the market; and if he will make a statement.

The Today contraceptive sponge was the subject of an application to our Department for a product licence under the Medicines Act 1968. We decided that the application should be referred for advice to the Committee on Dental and Surgical Materials, one of the advisory committees established under section 4 of the Act. The committee took account of all the available evidence and recommended that a licence should be granted and this advice was accepted.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what rules limit the description of any form of contraceptive as safe.

Those contraceptives that are licensable as medicinal products under the Medicines Act 1968 are assessed by the licensing authority for safety quality and efficacy. One of the advisory committees set up under the Medicines Act is consulted where necessary. Any data sheets, labels, package inserts and promotional material must be consistent with the terms and conditions of the product licence and must not be false or misleading.