§ Mr. Tom Clarke
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the arrangements made for(a) the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and (b) the Plasma Fractionation Centre in connection with the transitional arrangements covering removal of Crown immunity status consequent upon the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Following the removal of Crown immunity status from health bodies under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) and the protein fractionation centre (PFC) were required to apply to the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) for pharmaceutical manufacturer's licence and product licences in order to comply with the legislation. However, the granting of licences by the MCA is an extensive process and in order to ensure continuity of clinical and pharmaceutical services special provisions were made under the Act for transitional arrangements to allow the SNBTS and PFC to continue to operate. Under these arrangements the SNBTS was required to submit all new licence applications and resubmit existing licences held by 31 March 1991. This has been completed.
The PFC has been granted a manufacturing licence and also a number of product licences have been obtained. A group of product licences previously held under the arrangements prior to the removal of Crown immunity are still being processed by the MCA but it is expected that new licences will be obtained shortly.