§ Mrs. Hayman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in the light of the consultations regarding the implementation of Part III of the Medicines Act, he will give serious consideration to deferring the September date of implementation; and if he will further agree to modifications which would allow the sale of analgesics in supermarkets provided they are retailed in small numbers in childproof packs.
§ Dr. Owen
The proposed Medicines (Sale and Supply) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations are one of a complex series of inter-related statutory instruments required to implement Part HI of the Medicines Act 1968. The implementation proposals are based on recommendations of the Medicines Commission, and consultative documents were issued in March. These include a proposal prohibiting the sale of analgesics, i.e., medicinal products containing aspirin, aloxiprin or paracetamol, by self-service and self-selection methods in pharmacies and other shops. The Commission has also proposed that the size of packs of analgesics for general sale should be limited to 25 tablets with restrictions on their strength.
In the light of the many representations I have received against these proposals to restrict the retail sale of analgesics, and also representations that the Medicines (Child Safety) Regulations 1975, and the proposed Medicines (Child Safety) Regulations 1976, will provide adequate safeguards, by ensuring that both children's and adult dosage forms of aspirin and paracetamol will only be available in child resistant containers, I am asking the Medicines Commission to review the need for a ban on self-service sales of analgesics. In the meantime circulation of the draft Medicines (Sale and Supply) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 656W covering the controversial proposal will be postponed, and the date proposed for the implementation of Part III of the Act will be deferred for a few months.