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the financial years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000, and what the planned expenditure and breakdown of expenditure for 2000-01 is on (i) public opinion research, (ii) television, radio and newspaper advertising and (iii) direct mail. 
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A study on public attitudes to development was undertaken in 1997-98 at a cost of £43,000. There was no expenditure in 1996-97 or 1998-99. A repeat survey to measure changes in public attitudes and the effects of our public education work was undertaken in 1999-2000 costing a total of £45,000.
There was no significant expenditure on direct mail promotion of DFID materials between 1996-97 and 1999-2000. In 2000-01 our spending on direct mail promotion of DFID publications is projected at around £55,000.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many press releases were issued by her Department in the financial years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000; how many have been issued in the current financial year; and what her estimate is of the total number for the current financial year. 
Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last met the EU Commissioner for Development, and what representations she made concerning measures to ensure that aid funding is not used to support forced abortion, coercive sterilisation and compulsory population control programmes in developing countries. 
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Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government are taking to encourage major pharmaceutical companies to offer discounts on drugs that are needed in developing countries. 
Clare Short: The Government are working through a number of channels to increase substantially access to medicines. We are building partnerships with industry to improve access to affordable medicines, and support World Health Organisation initiatives such as Roll Back Malaria and STOP TB (tuberculosis). The Government welcome the Accelerating Access to HIV/AIDS-related Care and Treatment Initiative, whereby several pharmaceutical companies are working with UNAIDS to reduce the cost of anti-retroviral therapy for AIDS in developing countries, although more needs to be done in terms of transparency in prices and further discounts. We are working with developing country Governments to strengthen the basic health care systems, without which drugs will not reach the poorest.
The Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit is carrying out a study on a wide range of policy options for public-private partnership, with the aim of improving access and affordability of essential drugs in developing countries. Possibly policy measures include differential pricing agreements (selling drugs more cheaply in poor countries), tax incentives and common purchase funds.
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Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to allow developing countries to make cheap copies of drugs to treat diseases including AIDS, respiratory tract infections and childhood diarrhoea. 
Clare Short: The majority of medicines required for the diseases of poverty are off-patent, and are available at competitive prices from generic companies. The Government believe that TRIPs (the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights) provides WTO members with sufficient flexibility to implement domestic intellectual property rights regimes that take account of their national circumstances. The agreement allows national governments to use compulsory licensing in certain situations of 'national emergency', when Governments may authorise production of drugs without the consent of patent holders.
We believe the best way forward is through negotiation with pharmaceutical companies, on price and licensing. The Government are considering a range of policy options for improving affordability of essential drugs in poor countries through the Performance and Innovation Unit's Global Health Project.
Clare Short: Activities under the Trade and Poverty Programme will start in the second quarter of 2001 in several African countries (provisionally Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana) and with the east African community.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the contracts that exist between SERCO and her Department, its executive agencies and associated public bodies; and if she will list those which have existed in the last three years. 
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the IT projects currently undertaken in her Department; and if she will state the (a) expected completion date and (b) cost of each project. 
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