§ Mr. Barron
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he proposes to ensure compliance with the renegotiated Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Dobson
The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme has existed for over 40 years, and is designed to provide reasonable prices for the National Health Service and fair rates of return for the pharmaceutical companies who supply the NHS. The Government remain committed to these objectives, and are currently renegotiating the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.
The Government regret that there is increasing non compliance by a limited number of companies with the current voluntary agreement. This is adding to the NHS drugs bill at the expense of other NHS treatment and care. In these circumstances the Government have concluded that to ensure full compliance with a new agreement it will be necessary to take reserve powers in the forthcoming NHS Bill. These will make it possible to secure the compliance of any companies who might in future choose not to abide by the voluntary agreement.