To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) who attended the meeting of the Committee on Review of Medicines that reviewed the alcohol content of gripe water; who gave evidence to the meeting; and what conclusions were reached;(2) if he will introduce legislation to permit publication on the deliberations and conclusions of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Committee on Review of Medicines;(3) what alcohol limits are permitted in gripe water currently on sale;(4) who are the members of the Committee on Review of Medicines.
There are no present plans to amend section 118 of the Medicines Act, 1968 which generally prohibits the disclosure of information obtained in pursuance of the Act. The statutory appeal procedures are not complete in the cases to which the right hon. Member refers. It would be inappropriate to comment in any way prejudicial to them.The current membership of the Committee on Review of Medicines is as follows:
Professor D. H. Lawson (Chairman) MD FRCP
Consultant Physician, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow
Visiting Professor University of Strathclyde
Mr. A. G. Amias FRCS FRCOG
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, St. Georges Hospital, London
Professor T. H. D. Arie MA BM BCh FRCP FRCPsych FFCM DPM (Eng)
Professor of Health Care of the Elderly, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham
Professor C. J. Bulpitt MD MSc FRCP
Reader of Epidemiology, Head of Division of Geriatric Medicine, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital
Professor J. E. Carless BPharm MSc PhD FRPharmS Emeritus Professor of Pharmeutics, University of London
Mr. W. M. Darling CBE FRPharmS
Pharmacist, Chairman, South Tyneside Health Authority
Professor F. Fish OBE Pharm PhD FRPharmS
Dean, School of Pharmacy, University of London
Professor F. Harris MD MMed (Paed) FRCP (Ed) FRCP (Lond)
Professor of Child Medicine and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leicester
Professor J. G. R. Howie MD PhD FRCP (Ed) FRCGP
Professor of General Practice, University of Edinburgh
Dr. B. J. Kirby MB ChB FRCP
Deputy Director, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Consultant Physician, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
Professor Rona Mackie MD FRCP FRCPath FRSE
Professor of Dermatology, University of Glasgow
Dr. Agnes McKnight MD MRCGP DObst RCOG
Senior Lecturer, Department of General Practice, Queens University, Belfast
Professor J. M. Midgley BSc MSc PhD CChem FRCS FRPharmS
Chairman and Head, Department of General Practice, Queens University, Belfast
Dr. A. T. Proudfoot MB ChB FRCP (Ed)
Consultant Physician, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh and Director of Scottish Poisons Information Bureau
Dr. L. E. Ramsey MB ChB FRCP
Consultant Physician, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the estimated annual cost to his Department of monitoring the promotion of prescription medicines to ensure that companies do not infringe the Medicines Act.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions he has prosecuted pharmaceutical companies for infringing the Medicines Act through their promotion of prescription medicines.
Once. All notifications of possible infringements are investigated.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how often during the years 1983–88 he referred complaints regarding the promotion of prescribed medicines to the code of practice committee of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
Eleven. In addition, staff of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) take up direct with companies issues which it would not be appropriate to refer to the ABPI committee such as those which should be considered for formal enforcement or warning letters.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce legislation to require the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (i) to have fewer than half the members on the code of practice committee from the industry, (ii) to give complainants the same right to hearing as defendants, (iii) to hold its hearings in public, (iv) to publish its reports and (v) to introduce a right of appeal.
We have no present plans to do so.