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Drug Addicts

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total cost of running drug dependency units and treatments for drug addicts broken down between (a) in-patient and (b) out-patient care, separately identifying the costs for (i) methadone prescribing and (ii) prevention schemes in (1) 1970, (2) 1980, (3) 1990 and (4) 1999. [126747]

Yvette Cooper: The requested information is not collected centrally. Data are available for methadone used in the treatment of substance dependence, covering prescriptions dispensed in the community only. The table shows the number of prescriptions, the actual net ingredient cost, and the net ingredient cost at 1999 prices

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for the period 1980 to 1998, and the first nine months of 1999. Data before 1980 are not available and full data for 1999 are not yet available.

The regional drug misuse databases are the main source of information on persons presenting to drug treatment services with a drug misuse problem. Copies of the six-monthly statistical bulletin are available in the statistics resource unit of the Library.

Number and net ingredient cost of prescriptions dispensed in the community for methadone hydrochloride used in substance dependence, 1980-1998, and 1999 (January to September), England

Prescriptions (Thousand)Net ingredient cost (£000)Net ingredient cost at 1999 prices (£000)

(13) January to September


1. The methadone hydrochloride drugs used in substance dependence are shown in the British National Formulary (BNF) section 4.10, "Drugs used in substance dependence".

2. The data up to 1990 are not strictly consistent with data from 1991 onwards. Figures for 1980-90 are based on fees and on a sample of 1 in 200 prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists and appliance contractors only. Figures for 1991 onwards are based on items and cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors, dispensing doctors and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospital or private prescriptions.

3. The net ingredient cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug and does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.

4. Figures at 1999 prices are calculated using the GDP Deflator.

Genito-Urinary Services

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people visited a genito-urinary clinic in

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(a) 1970, (b) 1980, (c) 1990 and (d) 1999; and what was the cost of drugs prescribed to deal with sexually transmitted diseases in each of these years. [126798]

Yvette Cooper: The available information is as follows.

Diagnoses(14) of sexually transmitted diseases in genito-urinary medicine clinics in England

YearNumber of diagnoses

(14) Provide an indication of patient numbers but individuals may have more than one diagnosis

(15) Data for 1999 are not available yet

Information on overall drugs expenditure to treat sexually transmitted diseases is not available.


Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) sterilisations and (b) reversals of sterilisation were carried out by the NHS in (i) 1970, (ii) 1980, (iii) 1990 and (iv) 1999; how many were requested as a result of people getting married or acquiring new partners; and what the total cost to the NHS was in each of those years. [126838]

Yvette Cooper: The following table shows Hospital In-Patient figures for 1980, 1990-91 and 1998-99. Data are not available for 1970 and are not collected on reasons why procedures were performed.

Information is also not available on the total costs to the NHS.

Procedure 1980(16)1990-911998-99
Female sterilisation16,95444,90448,194
Female sterilisation reversal6,8311,556699
Male sterilisation65136,67035,609
Male sterilisation reversal6521,745896

(16) 1980 data were collected via the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry which was based on a one in 10 sample of discharges and deaths from non-Psychiatric and non-Maternity NHS Hospitals in England

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) hip operations, (b) knee replacements, (c) hernia operations and (d) cataract operations were carried out at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in the last available year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [126590]

Yvette Cooper: The table shows the information requested for the period 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000.

Number of operations
Hip operations80
Knee replacements5
Hernia operations717
Cataract operations1,546

Action is being taken specifically on both reducing waiting times for patients needing orthopaedic procedures

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and on improving services to them. We are also improving access to cataract services. In doing so, it will improve the volume of surgery and reduce waiting lists. A capital modernisation fund of £20 million over two years from 2000-01 will allow local services to modernise.

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital have benefited from the two week wait for treatment for cancer; and if he will make a statement. [126591]

Yvette Cooper: The National Health Service White Paper sets a cancer standard of two weeks from general practitioner referral to first outpatient appointment. This arrangement has been in place since April 1999 for breast cancer and a rolling programme is in place to achieve the same standard of care for all cancers during 2000.

The table shows the number of women seen at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital NHS Trust within two weeks of urgent referral for breast cancer since the standard was introduced.

Waiting times for breast cancer treatment

Q1 April to June 1999Q2 July to September 1999Q3 October to December 1999Q4 January to March 2000
Urgent referrals received within 24 hours:
Seen within 14 days1132830
Not seen within 14 days0008
Urgent referrals not received within 24 hours:
Seen within 14 days141103
Not seen within 14 days1000


Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to monitor the levels of fluoride added to toothpaste, mouthwashes and dental floss by manufacturers of dental products; and if he will make a statement; [127234]

Yvette Cooper: The Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 1996 controls the safety of cosmetic products in the United Kingdom. Toothpaste and mouthwashes can be classified as oral hygiene products and are controlled under these regulations. Oral hygiene products containing fluoride can contain a maximum of 0.15 per cent. The product must also be marked "contains . . . fluoride". Regulations require all cosmetic products to be marked with a list of ingredients. Ingredients in concentrations of less than 1 per cent. may be listed in any order after those in concentrations of more than 1 per cent.

Some toothpaste and mouthwashes containing fluoride are classified as medicinal products if claims are made for the products in accordance with the definition in section 130 of the Medicines Act 1968 and the relevant definition in Directive 65/65/EEC. Manufacturers of licensed medicines have a statutory obligation to list all the product's ingredients on the label and patient information

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leaflet. Active ingredients (those with therapeutic effect), including fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwashes, must be expressed in terms of their concentration.

The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 apply to dental floss. Under these Regulations manufacturers must provide relevant information to enable consumers to use the product safely and to warn about hazards that are not immediately obvious.

There is no evidence that these arrangements are causing public concern and we have no plans for any further monitoring of levels of fluoride added to toothpaste, mouthwashes or dental floss.

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