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Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will assess the efficacy of his policy on the prescription of tranquillisers in limiting the number of medicines prescribed. (276005)

The addiction to prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines is a very important issue and a number of steps have been taken to tackle this problem with the main focus on advice to prevent such dependence occurring in the first place, by warning general practitioners of the potential side-effects of prescribed medicines and the dangers of involuntary addiction to benzodiazepines.

Over the coming months the Department will be reviewing its policy on addiction to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including tranquillisers. This review will identify where and how policy should advanced, so that those addicted to prescription or OTC drugs receive high quality, effective services.