Musculoskeletal Disorders: Drugs

Health written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Joan Humble Joan Humble Labour, Blackpool North and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what consideration she has given to the merits of strengthening (a) safeguards against and (b) the reporting of the use of unlicensed drugs, with particular reference to the administration of spinal injections to treat acute and chronic back pain;

(2) what steps she has taken to prevent consultants and doctors working in (a) the NHS and (b) the private sector from offering treatment requiring the use of (i) unlicensed drugs and (ii) spinal injections to treat acute and chronic back pain.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

Under the current medicines legislation, doctors and consultants, whether working in the national health service or in the private healthcare sector, are free to use their own clinical judgment to use an unlicensed medicine or a spinal injection when they consider that to be in the best interests of an individual patient. Doctors and consultants are personally responsible for such decisions and must comply with the legislation. There are no plans to change this.

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