§ Mr. Kennedy
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the relative roles and nature of the co-operation between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Health and Social Security on the question of possible extensions to patent life for the research and development of drugs.
§ The Prime Minister
The Department of Trade and Industry is responsible for patent law. Before formulating policy it seeks the views of its Standing Advisory Committee on which both users and industry are represented as well as other Government Departments concerned. The Department of Trade and Industry is awaiting a paper on a possible extension of patent life from the pharmaceutical industry. The Standing Advisory Committee and the Department of Health and Social Security (both as sponsoring Department and that responsible for the National Health Service) will then be asked for their views.