Drugs: Licensing

Department of Health written question – answered on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Mike Thornton Mike Thornton Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of the effect on mortality rates of the provisions of off-patent drugs outside their licensed indications in cases where research supports the use of those drugs.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We have no plans to make such an assessment as national prescribing data does not record the indication for which a drug has been prescribed.

The responsibility for prescribing rests with the doctor or prescriber, taking into account their patient’s needs and relevant clinical guidance. Good communication between practitioners and patients is essential and prescribers should always involve patients in decisions about the treatment proposed. When prescribing outside a drug’s licensed indications, practitioners should explain to their patients why they are proposing that course of action.

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