§ Dr. Howells
We have made it clear to the Community Pharmacy Action Group, as we did to the House, that we recognise the important role that community pharmacies play and that we would expect the Restrictive Practices Court to consider fully the issues relating to the retention and abolition of resale price maintenance for over-the-counter medicines, including the effect on local communities of possible pharmacy closures. We have also said that we would wish to take a robust line with the European Commission if, following a decision by the Restrictive Practices Court with respect to the continuation of the exemption for over-the-counter medicines under the Resale Prices Act, the Commission took action which flew in the face of that decision.
§ Mr. Ian McCartney
My Department has not made an estimate.
The Director General of Fair Trading has considered the impact upon community pharmacies of the removal of resale price maintenance in his January 1998 report "Material Changes in the Medicaments Market since 1970". A copy of his report has been placed in the Library of the House.