|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Brand: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the report of the independent inquiry into clinical trials in North Staffordshire, prepared last year by a panel chaired by Professor R. K. Griffiths, will be published. 
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will have completed the licensing process for the use of Remicade in rheumatoid arthritis; and if he will be referring this to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. 
9 May 2000 : Column: 338W
Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 May 2000]: Remicade has been authorised for the treatment of Crohn's disease. The authorisation was obtained through the European Centralised Procedure which is co-ordinated by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency. If the marketing authorisation holder applies for a new clinical indication for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products at the European Medicines Evaluation Agency will review the available data and transmit its scientific opinion to the European Commission. European marketing authorisations are published in the form of a commission Decision in the official Journal of the European Communities. Presently, remicade does not form part of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's (NICE) work programme for this year. However, NICE's work programme is continually being re-assessed and a number of possible additional topics for appraisal by NICE during the year 2000-01 are currently being considered. An announcement will be made shortly.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make inquiries concerning the commercial interests of all members of the Committee on Safety of Medicines; and if he will publish the results of those inquiries. 
Ms Stuart [holding answer 8 May 2000]: The commercial interests of all members of the Medicines Act Advisory Bodies, of which the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) is one, are published annually in the "Medicines Act 1968 Advisory Bodies--Annual Reports", copies of which are available in the Library. The 1999 report is due to be published in July this year. The latest record of CSM interests in the pharmaceutical industry--correct at 5 May 2000--has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the use of ozone-friendly refrigerants in air conditioning in NHS premises; in and what guidance is given on this in respect of purchasing new equipment. 
Ms Stuart [holding answer 8 May 2000]: It is the Department's policy to achieve best environmental practice and it is committed to the efficient use of energy and resources. This includes taking action to reduce/minimise pollution, or the risk of pollution, including ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.
9 May 2000 : Column: 339W
National Health Service Estates--an executive agency of the Department--issued guidance "Model Engineering Specifications" that includes design notes C4, "Mechanical Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems" and C10, "Refrigeration". This guides NHS bodies and encourages designers to use ozone-friendly refrigerants. NHS bodies are advised to take these matters into account when making their purchasing decisions.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information about his decision to pay subsidies to the coal industry was given to the BBC by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in his Department before Monday 17 April. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the reasons for the recent redeployment from his Department's energy policy division of (a) Mr. Mike Atkinson, (b) Mr. Michael Orig, (c) Mr. Alan Wright and (d) Mr. Jonathan Green. 
This is because the Act also contains a number of provisions empowering enforcement officers to take civil action against non-paying employers and the enforcement body will always use these in the first instance. However, there will be criminal prosecutions where the enforcement body considers them necessary.
Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many test centres have been established for claimants for compensation for chronic bronchitis and emphysema; where they are; and when he expects all planned test centres to be in operation. 
Mrs. Liddell: Spirometry testing has been conducted at 36 centres at Barnsley, Blackpool, Bolsover, Bristol, Cannock, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Coventry, Deal, Durham, Drongon, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hessle, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Lochore, Mansfield, Mexborough, Mountain Ash, Newcastle, Newport, Nottingham, Oxford, Pontefract, Plymouth, Salford, Sheffield, South Rislip, Stoke, Swansea, Whitehaven, Wigan, Wirral and
9 May 2000 : Column: 340W
Wrexham. In addition to the 46,000 or so spirometry assessments carried at these centres, the Department has also assessed over 3,000 claimants in their homes.
The centres in Barnsley, Bristol, Cannock, Chesterfield, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Leeds, Lochore, Mansfield, Mexborough, Mountain Ash, Newcastle, Newport, Nottingham, Pontefract, Sheffield, Stoke, Swansea, Wigan and Wrexham have now been fully adapted for the more detailed medical requirements of the main Medical Assessment Process (MAP). There are also new cantres in Ayr, Enfield and Manchester. In addition the spirometry centre in Deal will be adapted shortly. The need for further centres will be kept under review.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list in respect of (a) deep-mined and (b) open-cast coal the tonnages of coal produced in the latest year for which figures are available for each member state of the European Union, together with the amounts of subsidy provided; and if he will list the relevant articles of European Union treaties and relevant regulations or directives relating to limits on non- commercial support for the mining or marketing of coal. 
Issues relating to the production of coal are covered by the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, which is also known as the Treaty of Paris. State aid is prohibited in general terms by Article 4 of that Treaty but Decision 3632/93/ECSC, which is made under Article 95, permits such aid in the limited circumstances detailed in the Decision which include prior Commission approval.
Mrs. Liddell: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry indicated in his statement to the House on 17 April 2000, Official Report, columns 697-99, the Government are exploring with the European Commission how state aid might be offered to help the coal industry through this period of transition. We will also be consulting with interested parties on the precise structure of the state aid scheme to be put to the European Commission.
9 May 2000 : Column: 341W
The amount of aid paid will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the Commission and coal producers as well as market conditions over the next two years. It is too soon to make any detailed analysis of the costs. I have said that I do not rule out a figure as high as £100 million.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the occasions on which he has discussed with the European Commission the potential for state aid to the coal industry. 
Mrs. Liddell: I have discussed the potential for state aid to the coal industry with Commissioner de Palacio. Officials in London and Brussels have discussed the issue with the Commission services. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has discussed the matter with Commissioner Monti.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which interested parties he will be consulting regarding the proposed state aid to the coal industry; and by when the consultation process will be completed. 
Mrs. Liddell: My officials will discuss the proposed state aid to the coal industry with major coal producers and coal production trade associations, as well as coal users and traders. This informal consultation process will take place during May this year. Any interested parties should contact David Fielder on 020 7215 5593 or write to the Coal Directorate at Room UG23, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET. We will, of course, also be consulting the European Commission prior to submitting a formal notification of aid.
Mrs. Liddell: The Government will be discussing a proposed state aid scheme for the coal industry with the European Commission and the coal industry over coming weeks. The Commission has three months from the date on which we submit a formal notification of aid in which to reach a decision. As was said to the House on 17 April 2000, Official Report, columns 697-99, we hope to be making the first payments under the scheme during this financial year.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|