§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the proposal to allow pharmacists to substitute cheaper non-branded drugs for the drug prescribed by the general practitioner; whether the general practitioner would be consulted; and how patients would be protected from fake and substandard drugs.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The Department has opened discussions with the medical and pharmaceutical professions about generic substitution. We are seeking a way forward which would leave the clinical decision about whether a generic substitute was appropriate, to the prescribing doctor.
All medicines, whether branded or generic, have to meet the standards of safety, quality and efficacy required by the licensing authority.849W