§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the quality controls on imported generic medicines; if he will make a statement on the recent discussions between his Chief Pharmacist, Mr Graham Calder and representatives of the medical profession on quality controls for imported generic medicines; and whether, in his further consideration of the Greenfield report, he has examined proposals to extend the patent life of existing or future drugs, as a means to protecting research.
§ Mr. John MacKay
Yes. Generic medicines, including imported ones, are required to meet the same standards of safety, quality and efficacy as branded products. There have been no discussions this year between the Chief Pharmacist and the medical profession on this topic. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry have submitted a paper to the Government proposing an extension of the patent life for pharmaceutical products and this is being considered.