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Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the potential effects of the withdrawal of the bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, with particular reference to prescribing; and who will pay for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin following the withdrawal of funds. (75339)

A number of alternative sources of information and advice remain readily available to prescribers following the Department’s decision not to renew its bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. I understand that individuals and organisations can subscribe direct to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin if they wish to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation was undertaken before the decision was taken to cancel funding for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. (75477)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors she took into account when deciding not to renew the contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. (76551)

The decision not to renew the Department’s national contract for distribution of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin was informed by our policy to devolve as much responsibility as possible to the national health service and to look very critically at central spending. It is our policy that central spending should be kept to an absolute minimum in order to maximise the resources available for the NHS to manage at the local level. The decision also took account of the availability of other sources of medicines information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on doctors of the decision by her Department to withdraw funding from the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin; and if she will make a statement. (76902)

A number of alternative sources of information and advice remain readily available to prescribers following the Department’s decision not to renew its bulk contract for the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. I understand that individuals and organisations can subscribe directly to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin if they wish to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on dissemination of the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin to NHS doctors. (75898)

The Department has taken the decision not to renew its contract for the central purchase and distribution of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Future distribution arrangements are a matter for the publisher, Which? Limited, although officials have been discussing with them how the Department can best support this transition.