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UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Office of Fair Trade is investigating interpretation in the UK of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961; what recent representations he has received on this issue; and if he will make a statement. (77136)

On 7 March 2006 the Office of Fair Trading published a review of undertakings given by the pharmaceutical supplier Macfarlan Smith Ltd., who supply opiate derivatives in the UK. The OFT report also recommends that the Government consider competition when licensing opiate derivatives.

The Government are committed to responding within 90 days to OFT recommendations that cover the impact of regulation on competition. On 5 June 2006 the Minister for Trade, wrote to the Chief Executive of the OFT explaining that a full response would take a further 45 days, owing to the need for Government to perform a wider analysis of the market beyond the scope of the OFT review. As part of that process officials have had discussions with Macfarlan Smith Ltd.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the enforcement by his Department of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961; and if he will make a statement. (77133)

I have made no recent assessment of the enforcement by my Department of the convention itself. However, the convention establishes a framework for control which, in the United Kingdom, is implemented through the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. So any assessment of the enforcement of the convention is, in effect, an assessment of the enforcement of the Act. The Act establishes the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to advise me on all matters relating to drug misuse. The council meets, and makes recommendations to me, regularly.