§ Mrs. Beckett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total number of prescriptions processed in each year since 1978–79; and of that total, how many were (i) free of charge, (ii) covered by a prepayment certificate and (iii) paid for in some other way.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The available information is shown in the table.
Year Number of deaths 1986 118 1987 132 1988 111 1989 110 1990 90 1991 112 1992 92 1International Classification of Diseases 9th revision. Data for 1993 are not yet available.
§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to reduce the incidence of meningitis in children.
§ Mr. Sackville
The inclusion of a vaccine against haemophilus influenze type b, Hib-one of the two main causes of bacterial meningitis in young children—in the childhood immunisation programme from 1 October 1992 has resulted in a dramatic drop of over 80 per cent. in cases of invasive Hib disease in children under one year, the main target group for immunisation. Effective vaccines against the commonest form of meningococcal disease—the other main cause of bacterial meningitis in young children—are not yet available; the Department of Health is funding research to assist in the development of these vaccines.893W