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Volume 100: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1986

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the cost of drugs to the National Health Service; and what further steps he has in mind to curb the escalation of such costs.

As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for Ashfield on 21 April at columns 75–76, the cost of drugs to the National Health Service in 1984–85 was £1,473 million. My general aims are to ensure that the National Health Service receives good value for money spent on drugs, through effective and economic prescribing, and that companies in the pharmaceutical industry are fairly reimbursed for the drugs which they supply to the service.