Alprazolam: Misuse

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th November 2018.

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Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Labour, Enfield, Southgate

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has made in tackling the diversion of Xanax from the regulated supply chain to the criminal market; for what reason that diversion has taken place; how many prosecutions there have been; and what plans have been put in place to prevent that diversion.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Xanax is a licensed medicine and is scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (Class C) for which the Home Office is responsible. Its availability on the NHS is limited. It could only be obtained through the legitimate supply chain as an unlicensed “Special” if an available licensed medicine could not meet patients’ clinical needs. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found no evidence of diversion of Xanax from the legitimate supply chain. There have therefore been no prosecutions in relation to the diversion of Xanax from the legitimate supply chain. Without evidence of diversion of Xanax from the legitimate supply chain, the MHRA has no plans to put in place specific action to tackle its diversion at this time.

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