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Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on how many diabetes sufferers need one third ml amounts of insulin per dose, how much it costs to provide (a) the smaller syringes and (b) the larger syringes to diabetics for each of the last 11 years; and if he will make a statement.

No information is available centrally on the numbers of diabetics needing one third ml of insulin per dose. The estimated costs of providing one half ml and 1 ml disposable syringes, available since 1 September 1987, on the list of appliances general practitioners may prescribe in England were as follows:

Yearml size£ million
1987 (last 2 quarters)0·50·7
1989 (first 2 quarters)0·51·12
I cannot add to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Leicester, East on 17 May 1990 at column

492, that there is insufficient clinical demand for one third ml syringes for this product to be added to the general practitioners list.