§ Sir John Rodgers
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will review the legislation which allows medical practitioners to prescribe fluoride tablets so that fluoride tablets can be made available on National Health Service prescriptions signed by dental practitioners.
§ Mr. Moyle
No. National Health Service legislation has provided, since the Service began, that prescriptions by dentists on the official form for dispensing in the National Health Service pharmaceutical services are limited to a list of specified preparations. These consist of preparations which may be needed during44W a course of dental treatment, the satisfactory completion of which discharges the dentist's responsibility for the patient. The list does not include fluoride tablets, which, to be fully effective, must be administered regularly throughout the years of tooth formation, up to 14 years of age.
A general medical practitioner, unlike his dental colleague, is responsible for the continuous care of a list of patients, and so may prescribe any drug he considers necessary for their treatment.
Apart from this, experience has shown that the necessary regularity of administration of fluoride tablets in the home is rarely achieved and my right hon. Friend therefore prefers to encourage the fluoridation of water supplies as a much more effective means of protecting the community against dental decay.