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Prescription Drugs

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2010, Official Report, columns 64-5W, on prescription drugs, what legal advice his Department sought in preparing the elements of the partial impact assessment relating to professional liability and automatic generic substitution; and if he will make a statement. (317846)

Legal advice from the Department of Health Legal Services did inform the formulation of the consultation document on generic substitution, and the partial impact assessment relating to the proposals, but there are no specific elements in the partial impact assessment relating to professional liability.

Under the Department's preferred approach (option 3), there are mechanisms for ensuring that patients continue to receive the most appropriate treatment. Therefore, we believe the liability risks associated with the proposed generic substitution arrangements should not be any greater than under current prescribing and dispensing arrangements. We recognise that further evidence may be available in relation to liability; stakeholders can input views through responding to the consultation in writing—details at

or by attending one of the consultation events—more information at