Penicillin (Committee)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Information – in the House of Commons on 19th April 1944.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

asked the Lord President of the Council what changes have been made in the membership of the committee set up to report on penicillin and to conduct clinical trials and what is its present composition; whether he can make a report as to progress to date; and whether the committee is in contact with all firms engaged in the manufacture of this drug.

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The only change in the membership of the Penicillin Clinical Trials Committee set up by the Medical Research Council, since an answer on the subject was given to the hon. Member on 10th June, 1943, has been the appointment of six additional members. With permission, I will circulate the names of the present members in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards progress, a report by the Committee on the use of penicillin in treating war wounds was published by H.M. Stationery Office on 24th March as Medical Research Council War Memorandum No. 12. A full account of the work done at one of the main centres where trials are being made was published in the "British Medical Journal" of 15th April, and further reports are being prepared. There is close contact between the Committee and the firms manufacturing penicillin, which are in fact represented on it.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that progress is being made with the manufacture of this very valuable commodity?

Dr. Morgan:

How soon will supplies of penicillin be available for trial in the various hospitals? Cases are crying out for it.

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question down. It has nothing to do with the Question on the Paper.

Photo of Mr Thomas Levy Mr Thomas Levy , Elland

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the "British Medical Journal" is a very illuminating journal, which ought to be circulated much more fully than it has been in the past?

Viscountess Astor:

Will there be volunteers in the hospitals on whom this new medicine will be tried, or can it be tried on anyone?

Following are the names:

  • Professor H. R. Dean (Chairman),
  • Professor J. H. Burn,
  • Dr. A. N. Drury,
  • Surgeon Vice-Admiral Sir Sheldon Dudley.
  • Professor A. Fleming,
  • Professor H. W. Florey,
  • Dr. A. M. H. Gray,
  • Dr. P. Hartley,
  • Mr. R. Vaughan-Hudson,
  • Air Vice-Marshal G. L. Keynes,
  • Professor J. R. Learmonth,
  • Major-General L. T. Poole,
  • Dr. C. M. Scott,
  • Dr. J. W. Trevan,
  • Professor R. V. Christie (Secretary) and
  • Professor L. P. Garrod (Assistant Secretary).